Donald Trump's victory averted World War Three, top Putin aide claims

Comments come as former Nato chief says President-elect Trump must show 'strength' in dealing with the Kremlin or the alliance is 'doomed'

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The Independent US

One of Vladimir Putin’s closest advisors has claimed Donald Trump’s victory has averted a third world war. 

Speaking after Mr Trump won a shock victory over Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, Kremlin advisor Sergei Glazyev said the Democrat politician was a “symbol of war” and under Mr Trump the US had “a chance to change course”. 

He told Russian news wire RNS: “Americans had two choices: World War Three or multilateral peace.

“Clinton was a symbol of war, and Trump has a chance to change this course”.

Relations between the two countries have sunk to their lowest point since the Cold War after Russia was accused of interfering in the election with the strategic leak of emails which were damaging to Ms Clinton and the Democrat party.  

In October, the Department of Homeland Security officially blamed Russia for the leaking of emails exchanged by members of the Democrat National Committee (DNC) where they conspired to undermine the campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders. Russian officials have repeatedly denied allegations of interference.

On Thursday, Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said the Kremlin had been in frequent contact with Mr Trump’s campaign team ahead of his victory. 

He told Russian news agency Interfax that Moscow had “contacts” within Mr Trump’s inner circle. 

He said: “I don't say that all of them, but a whole array of them, supported contacts with Russian representatives”.

It comes as the former head of Nato, Anders Rasmussen, warned Mr Trump to show “strength” against Russia or it will be the “beginning of the end” for the US-led organisation. 

Mr Rasmussen, who led the alliance between 2009 and 2014, said Mr Putin “only respects a firm hand” when dealing with other world leaders and said Nato needs to intervene to protect the vulnerable Baltic states. 

He said: “The US must increase support for Nato's eastern flank, set up military bases wherever Russia is threatening the freedom and livelihood of US allies, and whole-heartedly protect Ukraine against future Russian aggression.

“The US President must initiate a no-fly zone to impose and maintain a credible and durable ceasefire in Syria. 

“The US must force the President of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, to the negotiating table and find a political solution to the devastating conflict.”

Mr Rasmussen, who previously served as the Prime Minister of Denmark, is currently working as an adviser to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. 

His comments follow remarks made by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright where she called Mr Trump  “a useful idiot” for Mr Putin to exploit. 

She said: “The main thing is to remember that he is President of the United States and that our interests vis a vis what the Russians are doing are very important, and that our friends and allies in central and eastern Europe have been our friends and allies for a very, very long time”.

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