Putin, Trump plan summit for 'better ties'

Russian citizens discuss their votes at a polling station in the Mongolian capital Ulan Bator

President Donald Trump on Tuesday congratulated his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, who secured a landslide re-election victory on Sunday in a vote that surprised no one.

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

"We'll probably be meeting in the not-too-distant future", Trump said of Putin, though Sanders emphasized that nothing was planned. The two also discussed a potential meeting, the Kremlin said.

President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that Russian Federation would cut its military spending, a day after he won a presidential election with a landslide.

Sanders was pressed on Trump's call with Putin, but said that the White House believes maintaining a relationship with Putin is worth it, despite some outstanding issues.

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.

President Barack Obama called the Russian leader in 2012 and, according to a White House readout, congratulated him on winning his last reelection campaign.

"A special attention was given to considering the issue of a possible bilateral summit".

"Donald Trump congratulated Vladimir Putin on his victory in the presidential election", the Kremlin said.

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He and Putin would probably "discuss the arms race which is getting out of control".

Crises in Syria and Ukraine were also discussed. Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr, R-North Carolina, said it was "clear" the Russian government was looking for vulnerabilities in the US election system, although there is no evidence any votes were changed.

The Kremlin said another point of contention, Russia's alleged role in the poisoning of a former spy with a deadly nerve agent in Britain - the first known offensive use of a nerve toxin in Europe since World War II - was not touched upon during the call.

The United States sanctioned Russian Federation last week for cyber attacks against critical American infrastructure and attempts to interfere in the 2016 election. Moscow has denied any involvement in the attack.

The former U.S. presidential candidate John McCain was quick to criticize Trump for his failure to raise allegations of widespread voter irregularities.

"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".

The Kremlin said in a statement that the two presidents also spoke about the need to "coordinate efforts to limit the arms race" and closer cooperation on strategic stability and counter-terrorism.

The U.S. State Department endorsed the OSCE's preliminary findings, said spokesperson Heather Nauert, and called Trump's call to Putin "protocol".

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