Vladimir Putin congratulates US President Donald Trump as Russian leaders celebrate

'I congratulate all of you on this' leading Russian MP tells applauding Kremlin chamber

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The Independent US

Russian leader Vladimir Putin has congratulated newly-elected US President Donald Trump upon his emphatic shock victory.

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The Kremlin president has officially extended his well wishes to the 70-year-old.

The State Duma in the former Soviet Union also reportedly broke into thunderous applause upon news of Hillary Clinton's defeat on Wednesday morning.

Mr Putin sent the former The Apprentice icon and property mogul a congratulatory telegram - according to PA.

Trump: 'Putin is not my best friend'

In a brief statement, the Kremlin said Mr Putin expressed "his hope to work together for removing Russian-American relations from their crisis state".

Mr Putin also said he had confidence in "building a constructive dialogue between Moscow and Washington that is based on principles of equality, mutual respect and a real accounting of each other's positions, in the interests of our peoples and the world community".

Clapping and cheering in the lower house of parliament muffled an announcement by Vyacheslav Nikonov, chairman of the country's parliamentary committee on education and foreign affairs committee member, that Trump had triumphed - according to state news agency RIA-Novosti and Russian website Interfax.com.

"Three minutes ago, Hillary Clinton acknowledged her defeat in the US presidential elections and just seconds ago, Trump began his speech as president-elect. I congratulate all of you on this," said Mr Nikonov.

Mr Putin's sentiment has been echoed by the congratulations to Mr Trump by far-right Front National party leader Marine Le Pen.

“Congratulations to the new President of the US, Donald Trump, and the American people – free!” she tweeted.

European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker meanwhile have invited Mr Trump to the EU summit at the "earliest convenience".

As far back as 2011, Donald Trump signalled endorsement for ex-Lieutenant Colonel Mr Putin by speculating whether he could be "his new best friend".

Last year Mr Trump said the pair would "get along very well" and in response the two-time former Russian prime minister said the American was "a bright and talented person without any doubt" and "an outstanding and talented personality".

When quizzed by MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough over Mr Putin’s alleged ordering of journalists’ deaths, Mr Trump called him a “leader”.

In the same interview, the father-of-five said Syria leader Bashar al-Assad and Mr Putin had “outplayed” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the war against Daesh.

Russian-backed Syria airstrikes on Aleppo continued last month.

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