On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin called President-elect Donald Trump to congratulate him for “winning a historic election,” Trump’s team said. In the phone call, the two leaders discussed other problems such as U.S.-Russia ties and “strategic economic issues,” a readout shows.
The news, however, may rekindle the controversy surrounding Trump and Putin relationship. Trump once praised the Russian President for being a better leader than Barack Obama. Also, Democrats accused Kremlin of interfering with the U.S. election by sponsoring the WikiLeaks hacks.
In the latest conversation, Trump team said, the pair “discussed a range of issues” such as threats that may affect the two country’s 200-year-old relationship. Kremlin said both sides agreed on the conversation’s contents “in advance.”
The Russians released a readout of the discussion, as well. They said Putin is eager to cooperate with the new U.S. administration as long as both sides base their relationship on “mutual respect,” equality, and “non-interference in each other’s domestic affairs.”
Kremlin said both leaders are not content with the current state of Russo-American ties.
According to the Russian readout, Trump and Putin agreed the relationship between the two super-powers is “unsatisfactory.” But they both pledged to expend a great deal of effort to “normalize” the relationship.
Russians also mentioned a “constructive cooperation” between the two countries on a wide range of issues. The two leaders also agreed that they should focus more on developing the trade and economy.
Nevertheless, the reassuring tone of the conversation did not convince Trump’s critics. In October, the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Homeland Security jointly accused Russia of hacking into the DNC servers. The two departments believe Kremlin did it just to “interfere” with the U.S. election.
“We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities,”
the two departments wrote in a joint statement.
The hacked emails, however, showed an unseen side of the Clinton campaign. They revealed the party favored from start Clinton over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the primaries.
What’s more, Russians were allegedly behind the hack of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s Gmail account. Even though Obama administration did not directly link that hack to the Russian government, there was a suggestion. The administration’s press secretary Josh Earnest said the operation had “similarities” with other Russian hacks.
Russia Might Have Influenced U.S. Election
But there are other signs the Russians might have had something to do with Trump’s election. Reportedly, the Russian parliament met the news Trump had secured the White House with a burst of applause.
Foreign ambassadors said they talked with Putin about the win and he said he was willing to restore the ties with the U.S.A. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov acknowledged Nov. 10, the Russian government contacted Trump’s campaign several times before the election. Trump’s staffers dismissed the statement as untrue.
Analysts now believe Kremlin wants Washington to lift the sanctions Obama placed on Russia after the annexation of Crimea. Trump said he would negotiate the conflict in Syria with Moscow. According to the readout, the two leaders said they should team up against “international terrorism and extremism” in Syria.
Image Source: Kremlin.ru