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Mr Putin praised Mr Trump as a great communicator who is easy to talk to, a man with whom "you can search for a compromise". "Moreover, on a personal level he made a very good impression on me".

He described Trump, whom he met with a year ago on the sidelines of summits in Germany and Vietnam, a "balanced" man who grasps the issues and is a good listener.

Putin did not have the same admiration for the USA political system, however, which he said has "demonstrated its ineffciency and is eating itself up".

Moscow's hopes for better ties with Washington have been dashed by allegations of collusion between Mr Trump's campaign and Russian Federation.

Putin blamed the West for raising tensions, citing what he called efforts to contain and weaken Russian Federation.

"We treat it with great respect", he said. He said that he told Milania "about Siberia and Kamchatka, about fishing ... about bears on Kamchatka and tigers in the Far East".

"The decision to use nuclear weapons can only be made if our early warning system not only detects a missile launch but clearly forecasts its flight path and the time when warheads reach the Russian territory", he said.

He has also downplayed conclusions by USA intelligence services that Moscow interfered in the US presidential election in 2016 and warnings that it will likely continue to do so.

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Did he try to recruit the women? the interviewer asked the former KGB spy.

He said he was particularly dismayed by what he described as the USA role in the ousting of Ukraine's Russia-friendly president in February 2014 amid massive protests.

Russian Federation has previously denied any involvement in the incident, while Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Britrain would respond "robustly" if Moscow was found to be involved.

He described the Western sanctions over Crimea and the insurgency in eastern Ukraine as part of "illegitimate and unfair" efforts to contain Russian Federation, adding that "we will win in the long run".

Putin recalled that "other nations went through similar tragedies: I don't even mention small ethnic groups, like the Roma who were exterminated en masse - I mean the Slavs", he said.

Speaking to parliament, Johnson said Britain might step up sanctions against Russian Federation if it finds that Moscow was involved in the incident.

"We need to make sure that the innovative component of Russia's development is the main driver of the country's development".

With a $4 trillion GDP in terms of Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), Russia has become the sixth-largest economy in the world after China, the United States, India, Japan and Germany.