Trump, Putin Speak; Kremlin Says Call Was Congratulatory

Putin Expresses Gratitude to Voters After Winning Controversial Presidential Election

President Donald Trump did not heed the all-capitals warning from his national security advisers Tuesday to "DO NOT CONGRATULATE" Russian President Vladimir Putin on his reelection during a call to the Kremlin, The Washington Post reported.

They also stressed the importance of joint efforts to limit an arms race and boost economic cooperation after a Russian spy attack row with Britain plunged relations with the West into a new crisis.

The White House said on Monday that it was "not surprised by the outcome" of Sunday's election, and that no congratulatory call was planned.

Trump offered highlights from what he called a "very good call" with Putin.

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Trump said Putin had made a statement that being in an arms race was not a great option and emphasised the importance of denuclearising the Korean Peninsula.

British officials have blamed the nerve agent attack on Skripal and his adult daughter on Russian Federation. He also said they "will probably get together in the not-too-distant future" to talk about the worldwide arms race and other mutual concerns, such as the war in Syria and North Korea's development of nuclear weapons. The US imposing sanctions on a group of Russians over their alleged interference in the 2016 election has only served to burnish Putin's image.

Sanders also confirmed that Trump also didn't raise the issues of election meddling or Russia's allegedly tainted voting process.

Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Tuesday that he doesn't consider Trump's silence an "unfriendly move".

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"The call had to do also with the fact that we will probably get together in the not too distant future so we can discuss arms, we can discuss the arms race".

Trump's overture to Putin was criticized by top senators in his own Republican Party, who called Sunday's election a sham. Mr Trump is expected to attend the Group of Seven summit of the world's largest economies in Canada in June, but Russian Federation was ousted from the group after its 2014 annexation of Crimea. The two presidents held a phone conversation and spoke in favor of developing of a practical interaction in various areas, including the issues of strategic stability and combating global terrorism and emphasized the importance of coordinated efforts in limiting the arms race, according to the statement.

Asked whether the Trump administration believes Russian Federation conducted a "free and fair" election, Sanders said the administration is focused on U.S. elections.

He said Trump had "insulted every Russian citizen who was denied the right to vote in a free and fair election to determine their country's future". Moscow has denied any involvement in the attack.

Osaka Comes Out on Top of Star-Making WTA Indian Wells Final
Osaka had a nervy start, hitting unforced errors on her first three points on serve to face triple break point. Osaka gained the only other break of the first set with a backhand victor on the sideline to go up 5-3.

Putin, who has ruled Russian Federation for nearly two decades, secured a landslide victory in a presidential election on Sunday that saw him return to power for a fourth term.

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