President Trump congratulates Putin, says he wants to meet soon

21 March, 2018, 08:19 | Author: Judith Dennis
  • Trump congratulates Putin on victory in election fraught with ballot stuffing accusations

U.S. President Donald Trump called Russian President Vladimir Putin and congratulated him on winning his fourth term as president of Russia.

"The call had to do also with the fact that we will probably get together in the not too distant future so that we can discuss arms, we can discuss the arms race". Trump said the call with Putin was "a very good call", and he added that he would be meeting with the Russian leader "in the not-too-distant future". Relations between the two countries instead have remained tense amid the allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the investigations of whether there was collusion between Trump's campaign and Russia.

"The leaders spoke out in favor of developing practical cooperation in various spheres including the issues of ensuring strategic stability and the fight against worldwide terrorism", the statement added. "In particular, they stressed the importance of concerted efforts to curb the arms race", the statement said.

Trump, who vowed to improve relations with Russia on taking office 14 months ago, has been under pressure from Congress, Democrats and Republicans alike, to take a tougher stance on Putin, his inner circle and scores of Russian oligarchs.

When asked if Russia's election was free and fair, White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders responded: "We don't get to dictate how other countries operate".

Nauert is citing a preliminary report by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe that says Russia's election took place in an overly controlled environment that lacked an even playing field for all contenders. "Also to discuss Ukraine, Syria and North Korea and various other things".

"An American president does not lead the free world by congratulating dictators on winning sham elections", said Senator John McCain. She later said that she didn't believe that Russia's use of a nerve agent came up, either.

The two leaders talked over the phone on Tuesday and discussed U.S. -Russia relations and denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.

Trump has largely refrained from criticizing Putin amid the ongoing investigation into the 2016 election meddling by special counsel Robert Mueller III, who in February indicted 13 Russian nationals on conspiracy charges. He also did not press Putin on Russia's interference in the 2016 election. Some world leaders have hesitated to congratulate Putin, since his reelection occurred in an environment of state control of much of the news media and with his most prominent opponent barred from the ballot. Russian Federation has denied the accusations.

Sanders also claimed that Russian interference in the USA election "didn't come up" during Trump's call with Putin, nor was discussed the poisoning in the UK. Three of Trump's associates - former national security adviser Michael Flynn, deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates and campaign aide George Papadopoulos - have pleaded guilty to lying to investigators and agreed to cooperate.


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