Russian president Vladimir Putin has congratulated Boris Johnson for his election victory, saying he understood the mood of the nation.

The Russian leader was speaking at his annual news conference, and suggested Britain wants better economic ties with his country.

He said: “He [Johnson] was victorious after all and had a better sense of the British public’s mood than his political opponents.

“And as far as I understand, he intends to implement all of his Brexit plans.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual press conference in Moscow on December 19, 2019. (Photo by Alexey NIKOLSKY / SPUTNIK / AFP) (Photo by ALEXEY NIKOLSKY/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images)
Image: Mr Putin congratulated Boris Johnson

He’s also told of how Russia is not planning to create a military alliance with China, despite Moscow helping Beijing to build a missile attack warning system.

Mr Putin said the move was purely defensive.

He also suggested there could be scope to change the country’s constitution which prevents presidents from running for more than two terms in a row.

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As the laws currently stand, Mr Putin can’t run again when this term ends in 2024.

But he said: “One thing that could be changed about these terms is removing the clause about ‘successive’ [terms]. We have two successive terms.

“Your humble servant has served two terms consecutively, then left his post and had the constitutional right to return to the post of president, because these were not two successive terms. [This clause] troubles some of our political analysts and public figures.

“Well, maybe it could be removed.”

However he also said: “But still, in my opinion, we should not adopt a new constitution.”

Mr Putin also waded into Donald Trump’s impeachment, suggesting it would not signal the end of his presidency and that it was “far-fetched”.

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He said: “[The bill] still needs to go through the Senate where Republicans as far as I know have a majority.

“It’s unlikely they will want to remove from power a representative of their party based on what are, in my opinion, completely fabricated reasons.”

His news conference came as Russia announced it would appeal against its four-year Olympic ban due to World Anti-Doping Agency sanctions.

Mr Putin branded them “unfair” and “against common sense and law”.

He said: “The decision regarding doping was made during the past Olympic Games and our athletes participated under the neutral flag.

“If WADA does not have any claims against our national Olympic Committee, then our team should be allowed to participate under its own flag.”

Russia was banned earlier this month after WADA’s executive committee concluded Moscow had tampered with laboratory data.

The Russian anti-doping agency’s supervisory board voted to file an arbitration case with the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland.