On March 20, US President Donald Trump congratulated Vladimir Putin on his re-election in a telephone conversation. He also said he would meet “probably” his Russian counterpart in the near future.
According to a statement from the Kremlin and a statement by Donald Trump, quoted by AFP and Reuters, the latter phoned Vladimir Putin on March 20, to congratulate him on his victory in the presidential election two days earlier . According to the Kremlin, the two men mentioned “a possible meeting at the highest level”, without specifying a date. Speaking from the Oval Office, Donald Trump confirmed that he had discussed a potential meeting: “We will probably meet in not too long.”
During this telephone conversation, the US and Russian Presidents also addressed leading international issues and said they were in favor of coordinating their efforts to “limit the arms race”. In this regard, Vladimir Putin had recalled the day before, that his country did not intend to embark on an “arms race” , at a meeting held in the Kremlin with the other candidates who were running in the presidential election.
Sensitive files from Syria and Ukraine were also discussed during the telephone conversation between the presidents, according to the Kremlin communiqué. Donald Trump said that these topics, as well as the North Korean issue, would be deepened during the eventual meeting between the two heads of state.
Donald Trump reacted later than many heads of state and government (including Western) to congratulate his Russian counterpart – two days after the re-election of Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin had also noted this lack of reaction a few hours before the two men’s telephone conversation, commenting that it was not an unfriendly sign, and that it was “not serious”.
It should be noted that relations between Washington and Moscow are currently tense, in particular, by the Skripal affair, named after the former Russian double agent poisoned on British soil – Westerners accusing, without providing tangible proof, Russia to be responsible for this poisoning. On March 15, the US Treasury, citing this case, announced new sanctions against Russia .