VLADIMIR Putin has warned his country’s enemies they will “be served with poison”.

The Russian President made the comment while UK police are investigating the apparent poisoning of a Russian double agent and his daughter in Salisbury although Putin was not addressing that issue at the time.

Speaking in an interview with state television, Putin said western sanctions for Moscow’s annexation of Crimea and the insurgency in eastern Ukraine were part of “illegitimate and unfair” efforts to contain Russia, and added that “we will win in the long run”.

Putin continued: “Those who serve us with poison will eventually swallow it and poison themselves.”

He lavished US President Donald Trump with praise, describing him as a great communicator and a “balanced” man, who easily gets into the gist of various issues and listens to his interlocutor.

Moscow’s hopes for better ties with Washington have been dashed by the ongoing investigations into allegations of collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia.

Speaking about the bitter tensions in Russia-West relations, Putin said they have been rooted in western efforts to contain and weaken Russia.

“We are a great power, and no-one likes competition,” he said.