Wednesday, 18 July, 2018

Trump congratulates Putin on election win

Anton Vergun  TASS Anton Vergun TASS
Alonzo Parks | 21 March, 2018, 08:18

She says opposition leaders were intimidated or jailed.

A number of Republicans criticized Trump for making the call, including Senator Mitch McConnell, who said that there was a "lack of credibility" in the election result.

Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, a frequent Trump critic, called the president's call "odd". John McCain and others for calling Putin on Tuesday to congratulate him for his re-election.

The White House said in a readout of the call that the two leaders "discussed the state of bilateral relations and resolved to continue dialogue about mutual national security priorities and challenges".

The coordinated approach followed the Salisbury nerve agent attack earlier this month that has left a former Russian double agent and his daughter in comas and has plunged relations between London and Moscow to their worst in a generation.

She said the US doesn't "get to dictate how other countries operate" after a reporter questioned whether Russia's election was "free and fair".

Moscow and Washington are at odds over Ukraine and Syria, while US allegations that Russian Federation interfered in the USA presidential election, something Moscow denies, continue to cast a shadow over ties.

Sanders adds that the call was meant to discuss areas of cooperation between the USA and Russian Federation.

The former U.S. presidential candidate John McCain was quick to criticise Trump for his failure to raise allegations of widespread voter irregularities.

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Trump's decision to call and congratulate Vladimir Putin is drawing plenty of controversy, especially amid allegations that the Russian election was anything but free and open.

McCain has previously called Putin a murderer and a thug.

Incumbent Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures to people at an occasion in Moscow, Russia, on March 18, 2018.

Later commenting on the possible meeting, Trump told reporters "we will probably get together in the not too distant future". "Also to discuss Ukraine, Syria and North Korea and various other things".

Putin won a landslide victory in Sunday's presidential election, extending his rule over the world's largest country for another six years at a time when his ties with the West are on a hostile trajectory. He noted that in Chechnya turnout was reported at 37 percent where there were election observers and 99 percent where there weren't.

"The leaders spoke in favour of developing practical cooperation in different spheres, including on questions of how to ensure strategic stability and fight worldwide terrorism", the Kremlin said in a statement.

During the call, the two leaders also discussed the North Korean crisis, with the Kremlin saying it was satisfied with the recent reduction in tensions on the peninsula.

President Donald Trump ignored two critical warnings from his national-security advisers when he spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin on the phone Tuesday.

Since the election, Putin has toned down his rhetoric against the West, saying on March 19 that Russian Federation wants to build "constructive" relations with other countries but that "not everything depends on us".

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