Trump plans to meet Putin, congratulates him

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Washington/Moscow, March 20 (IANS) US President Donald Trump said here on Tuesday that he plans to meet his just re-elected Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to discuss what he described as an arms race between the two nuclear powers.

“I had a call with President Putin and congratulated him on the victory,” Trump told reporters as he and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sat down in the Oval Office. “We’ll probably be meeting in the not-too-distant future to discuss the arms race, which is getting out of control.”

Trump also congratulated Putin on his re-election and they discussed bilateral cooperation in a phone call on Tuesday, the Kremlin said.

Putin and Trump agreed on further contacts and “paid particular attention to the question of holding a possible summit,” it said in a press release.

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The Kremlin said their conversation was constructive, businesslike and focused on overcoming the accumulated problems in Russia-US relations.

“The leaders spoke in favour of developing practical cooperation in various areas, including ensuring strategic stability and combating international terrorism. In particular, the importance of coordinated efforts to limit arms race was stressed,” it said.

The two Presidents showed interest in strengthening economic cooperation, including in the energy sphere. The two sides discussed the Syria issue and the Ukrainian crisis, noting the need to achieve early progress in their settlement, according to the Kremlin.

“Satisfaction was expressed with a certain degree of a decrease in tensions around the Korean Peninsula. The feasibility of continuing consistent efforts to resolve the situation by peaceful, diplomatic means is emphasized,” it said.

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Putin was re-elected Russian president for the fourth time in a landslide victory on Sunday, garnering more than 76 percent of the vote.



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