Trump Congratulates Putin on His Reelection

Trump congratulates Putin on victory in election fraught with ballot stuffing accusations

Trump, Putin Speak; Kremlin Says Call Was Congratulatory

The White House said that in a telephone conversation on Tuesday, Trump and Putin discussed bilateral relations and the need to continue dialogue on key security priorities and challenges.

US President Donald Trump said here on Tuesday that he plans to meet his just re-elected Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to discuss what he described as an arms race between the two nuclear powers.

He and Putin would probably "discuss the arms race which is getting out of control".

Putin, seen with U.S. President Donald Trump in this 2017 photo, will now lead Russian Federation for another six years.

According to a White House statement, "President Trump congratulated President Putin on his March 18 re-election, and emphasized the importance of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula".

Trump's optimistic attitude regarding a meeting with Putin comes as sanctions were imposed on Russian Federation in retaliation for its efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, a frequent Trump critic, called the president's call "odd".

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Navalny and his supporters had called for an election boycott but the extent of its success could not immediately be gauged. The only candidate to openly criticize Putin during the campaign, liberal TV star Ksenia Sobchak , won just 1.68 percent.

Trump praised Putin and called repeatedly for better ties with Russian Federation during his campaign, but relations have remained tense. Russian Federation denies interference in the election.

Nauert's comments are notably tougher on Russian Federation than those of the White House.

"I had a call with President Putin and congratulated him on the victory, his electoral victory", The Guardian quoted President Trump as saying.

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

The action and reaction fit a Trump White House pattern of declining to chide authoritarian regimes for undemocratic practices.

"Why is the president so reluctant to criticize Putin?"

The president also said he would talk to Putin about both countries' operations in Ukraine, Syria and North Korea, but didn't elaborate on specific foreign policy proposals regarding those countries.

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The addition is in an annex to the draft guidelines and will be discussed by European Union ministers meeting on Tuesday. The text blunts May's hopes of getting a uniquely close relationship with the EU's single market.

Russian Federation denies meddling and Trump says there was no collusion.

He complained in a documentary released online by Russian state television on March 7 - two weeks before the country's elections - that the US was "unpredictable", though he called Trump a potential partner.

"The two leaders spoke out in favor of developing practical cooperation in various areas, including in ensuring strategic stability and combating worldwide terrorism".

No details were released about the timing or location of a possible meeting, which would be their third since Trump took office in January 2017. They met on the sidelines of an global summit in Germany last summer and again more informally at another gathering of world leaders in Vietnam in November.

While many U.S. officials suggest a working relationship with Russian Federation would be a positive thing for the U.S., Sen. In 2000, Putin was thrust into the presidency for the first time and was later re-relected. Many others, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, sent congratulatory telegrams.

During Tuesday's White House press briefing, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked if the topic of Saudi Arabia's human rights violations came up during Trump's meeting with the crown prince. "The possibility of organizing a top-level meeting received special attention".

Meanwhile, critics laid into Trump earlier this month for his lukewarm response to the nerve-agent attack on former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, both of whom are now on life support.

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