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The New Arab

Russia's President Putin hints at support for Donald Trump

Trump's praise for Putin has drawn sharp criticism from presidential rival Hillary Clinton [Getty]

Date of publication: 17 September, 2016

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Although the Russian president didn't mention the Republican by name, President Putin has said he sympathises with those seeking to 'build a relationship with Russia', presumed to be Donald Trump.

On Saturday Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared to offer his strongest endorsement yet for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Although Putin did not actually name the business tycoon.

"We are carefully watching what is happening in the United States and we, of course, view with sympathy those who publicly state that it is necessary to build a relationship with Russia, on basis of equality," Putin told journalists during a press briefing.

To date Putin has refused to publically endorse either Trump or Hillary Clinton, the Democrats’ nominee for president. However his latest remarks were clearly a reference to the former. Trump has enthusiastically expressed that, if elected, he is prepared to work with Putin and has even declared the Russian President a stronger leader than US President Barack Obama. Such praise has drawn criticism from Clinton who has been critical of Russian policy in the Ukraine and Syria.

It is not known whether Trump and Putin have ever met, however the Russian President has shared numerous awkward moments with Clinton during her tenure as secretary of state, going as far as accusing her of meddling in his own election in 2012.

Pervasive anti-Americanism distributed through state media has marked Putin’s third term in office and several American NGOs have been banned from working in Russia, while the adoption of Russian children by Americans has also been stopped.

(Agencies contributed to this report)

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