Trump congratulates Putin on reelection, intl issues discussed in phone call

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President Donald Trump's congratulatory call to Russian President Vladimir Putin on his re-election touched on foreign policy issues but reportedly made no mention of Russia's alleged interference in the USA election, the White House has revealed.

Trump supposedly ignored the order and called Putin on his own, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

"I had a call with President Putin and congratulated him on his electoral victory", Trump said, two days after Putin's re-election.

Arizona Senator John McCain issued a sharp rebuke of Donald Trump for his call to Vladimir Putin, and Nancy Pelosi noted that Trump and his national security team have still not taken steps to protect the upcoming midterm elections from more Russian meddling.

The White House press office declined to comment on the briefing materials given to Trump.

The President described his conversation with Putin as a "very good call" and said they talked on a range of topics including arms control and the security situations in Syria and North Korea.

Putin won the election handily over the weekend, garnering more than 75 percent of the votes and extending his rule for another six years - although there were reports of voter fraud and ballot stuffing.

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However, Trump did congratulate Putin during the call.

The issue of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula was also discussed by the two leaders.

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 worldwide challenges and find viable solutions".

In addition, the USA joined Britain, France and Germany in questioning Russia's alleged role in poisoning a former Russian spy with a military-grade nerve toxin in England.

The two leaders also stressed the importance of joint efforts to limit an arms race and boost economic cooperation, the Kremlin said in a statement, after a Russian spy attack row with Britain plunged relations with the West into a new crisis. Russia has denied involvement in the March 4 poisoning, but the attack has badly damaged British-Russian relations and British Prime Minister Theresa May last week announced the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats in retaliation.

Vladimir Putin is back in the saddle for the fourth time as the Russian President, silencing his adversaries in the Western world with a thumping mandate from his countrymen.

Trump is not the first Commander-in-Chief to call Putin to congratulate him on winning re-election.

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