Within hours of Trump’s victory speech, Putin congratulated the president-elect and flagged Moscow’s willingness to restore ties fully with its old Cold War foe, currently at loggerheads over the Syria conflict.
Russia featured heavily in a heated campaign period, with Trump praising Putin as a firm leader as US officials accused Moscow of meddling by leaking hacked Democratic campaign emails to undermine Hillary Clinton’s candidacy.
“(Trump) spoke about resuming and restoring relations with Russia. We understand the way to that will be difficult, taking into account the current state of degradation of relations between the US and Russia,” Putin told Russian state television.
“As I have repeatedly said, that is not our fault that Russia-US relations are in that state. Russia is ready and wants to restore the fully fledged relations with the US. I repeat we understand this will be difficult, but we are ready to play our part in it.”
But not all Russians were convinced. Garry Kasparov, the Russian chess grandmaster and fierce Putin critic, tweeted his reaction to Trump’s victory: “Winter Is Here.” Kasparov wrote a critical book about Putin called “Winter Is Coming.”
From other parts of the world, the uncertainty about Trump was reflected in anxious statements.
French President François Hollande’s reaction was far from enthusiastic.
“The people of America have spoken. I have congratulated Mr. Trump, as it is usual in this situation. I thought of Clinton, with whom I worked during the Obama administration. This result leads to uncertainty,” he said, adding that the United States remained an ally of France’s.
“I also urge vigilance because of statements made by Donald Trump,” he said.
One of the biggest snubs appears to have come from the Catholic Church.
Pope Francis, who has been critical of Trump proposals, did not mention the election during his weekly public address and left it to the Vatican’s secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, to offer best wishes to the winning candidate.
Trump may have to smooth out his relationship with China after he painted the Asian powerhouse as a threat to American jobs during his campaign, making statements such as the United States “can’t continue to allow China to rape our country.”