Trump calls Putin, congratulates him on re-election

Carla Harmon
March 21, 2018

The White House had said Monday that it was "not surprised by the outcome" of Sunday's presidential election in Russian Federation and that no congratulatory call was planned.

"We don't get to dictate how other countries operate", she told reporters in a briefing.

"As you know, [Putin] made a statement that being in an arms race is not a great thing, and it was right after the election, one of the first statements he made", Trump said.

The phone call came just after the USA joined the U.K., Germany, and France in a statement condemning Russian Federation for a chemical weapon attack in the U.K.

The two presidents talked about North Korea and about the need to "coordinate efforts to limit the arms race" and closer cooperation on strategic stability and counter-terrorism.

Trump also congratulated Putin on his re-election and they discussed bilateral cooperation in a phone call on Tuesday, the Kremlin said.

Sen. John McCain is criticizing President Donald Trump for commending Vladimir Putin for his re-election to a fourth six-year term as Russia's leader.

Asked whether the Trump administration believes Russian Federation conducted a "free and fair" election, Sanders said the administration is focused on USA elections.

Even as Russian Federation continues to flaunt new weapons and military technology, Trump seems far from anxious and expressed confidence in the current US military stature.

While many world leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emanuel Macron, wasted little time in contacting Putin following the March 18 vote, Trump's silence was seen as a show of the tense state of relations between the two countries.

A United States administration official confirmed to Reuters that the call had taken place, without elaborating.

"Satisfaction was expressed with a certain degree of a decrease in tensions around the Korean Peninsula". They met on the sidelines of an worldwide summit in Germany last summer and again more informally at another gathering of world leaders in Vietnam in November.

Vladimir Putin has said he is open to "constructive" dialogue with other states after being re-elected president of Russian Federation with an increased majority.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was among the first Western leaders to "warmly congratulate" Mr Putin on Monday - a day after his re-election - stressing the need to continue dialogue "to address important bilateral and global challenges and find viable solutions".

Sanders also confirmed that Trump also didn't raise the issues of election meddling or Russia's allegedly tainted voting process.

Last month, special counsel Robert Mueller indicted 13 Russian individuals and three organizations on charges of interfering in the election.

Meanwhile, a almost yearlong investigation into possible collusion between the Kremlin and Trump's campaign team stretches on.

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