No one believed United States President-elect Donald Trump would win except Russia, President Vladimir Putin claimed on Friday. “Certainly only we knew that he was going to win. No one else did,” he said at his annual press conference with Russian and international journalists.

The Russian leader added that the Democratic party could not blame him for their loss in the elections, and accused the Barack Obama administration of having systemic problems. “The losing side always tries to pass the buck,” Putin said, when BBC’s Steve Rosenberg asked him about allegations that Russian hackers had influenced the outcome of the US polls. He also said the party needed to learn how to lose gracefully.

On nuclear expansion, the president said Russia was not violating any international norms in its efforts to improve its system. “We are in line with our obligations as to the number of our warheads,” he said, alleging that the US was “stimulating a nuclear arms race”.

His statement comes a day after Trump he wanted the country’s nuclear weapons capability to be strengthened and expanded. Putin, too, had said on Thursday that it was necessary for Moscow to “strengthen the military potential of strategic nuclear forces”. On Friday, Putin signed an order to expand Russia’s naval facility in the Syria’s Tartus base, the Kremlin said. This will allow Russian warships into Syrian waters.