US President Donald Trump congratulates Vladimir Putin on winning Russian presidential poll

Frederick Owens
March 22, 2018

U.S. President Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin Tuesday discussed holding a possible summit as the American leader congratulated the Russian president on his re-election.

"We will probably be meeting in the not-too distant future to discuss the arms race, which is getting out of control".

The penalties coincided with a disclosure from USA authorities that Russian government-linked hackers attempts to penetrate the US energy grid.

To be fair, congratulatory calls aren't entirely out of the ordinary.

Asked if he plans to do so, Vejonis said that a "decision will be taken", adding that it is the diplomatic practice to send such greetings unless there have been gross violations of the election procedure.

Even members of President Donald Trump's own party are criticizing him for congratulating Vladimir Putin on winning Sunday's election.

Putin offered an olive branch to the West on Monday after his overwhelming re-election victory, saying he wanted to resolve differences with other countries and end the arms race. The United States has not taken similar action against Russian Federation for the attack, though the Trump administration last week sanctioned 19 individuals and five entities for their roles in the 2016 campaign meddling.

They spoke after Washington slapped a new round of sanctions against Moscow created to punish Russians responsible for attempts to interfere in the 2016 presidential elections.

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"We've been very clear in the actions that we've taken that we're going to be tough on Russian Federation, particularly when it comes to areas that we feel where they've stepped out of place", Sanders said.

Last month, special counsel Robert Mueller indicted 13 Russian individuals and three organizations on charges of interfering in the election. Relations between the two countries instead have remained tense amid the allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election and the investigations of whether there was collusion between Trump's campaign and Russia.

When pressed by reporters, Sanders declined to comment on whether the White House believes the Russian election was free and fair. One of the officials said that would be a "very serious step", especially given the last round of tit-for-tat expulsions, which left Russian Federation and the USA with significantly smaller diplomatic forces in each other's countries.

"It was right after the election, one of the first statements he made, and we are spending United States dollars 700 billion there are this year, our military, and a lot of it is that we are going to remain stronger than any other nation in the world by far", Trump said.

But shortly afterwards, the president confirmed that a phone call had been made. "What we do know is that Putin has been elected in their country, and that's not something that we can dictate to them how they operate".

It was not clear whether Trump read the notes, administration officials said.

Mattis said Tuesday that the U.S. has "always been willing to cooperate with Russian Federation where possible", but said Moscow has "chosen to be a strategic competitor of late from what happened in the United Kingdom, to what we saw in Ukraine".

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