Russian President Vladimir Putin called on Americans to show more respect for their president in response to a question posed to him at the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi, Russia, on Thursday. Asked how Russian Federation would feel if Mr. Trump were impeached, Putin said it would be "absolutely wrong" for Russian Federation to discuss USA politics. "So it is not right to say that unpredictability is in his nature - it depends on the USA political system", Putin said.
Putin said that "disrespect is shown for [Trump]" in the US, which he called "regrettable". "The United States is the biggest global economic and military power".
The contest has not officially begun and Mr Putin has not yet declared whether he will be taking part in the March 2018 election.
The Russian leader told his audience that those who ascend to the highest office in the USA possess a "certain talent" that allows them to survive America's bruising political process. Washington is pressuring the channel to register as a "foreign agent", which would force it to disclose personal information of employees and those interviewed. It says the request amounts to an attempt to push it out of the US media market.
He pointed at Russia's "unprecedented openness" in allowing the U.S.to inspect and monitor its nuclear weapons facilities after the 1991 Soviet breakup, adding that Moscow has received little in return.
"We don't know what it would have been like", he said. "You interpreted our trust as weakness and you exploited that".
He had been detained late last month while on his way to a political rally.
He said Russian Federation has since developed such cruise missiles for its navy and air force.
And in comments that could have been drawn straight from the pages of the Cold War, Putin accused the United States of upsetting the strategic nuclear balance by modernising its arsenal of weapons. He said Russian Federation would "want it and will be striving to achieve that".
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny said on social media on Sunday he had been released from detention after spending around three weeks in jail.
"He [Trump] has done this", Putin said.
He added any USA hopes to quickly knock down all of North Korea's nuclear weapons sites are unrealistic, saying the U.S.