Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump discuss mending ties
(VNF) - Russian President Vladimir Putin and US president-elect Donald Trump have spoken over the phone to discuss efforts to improve US-Russian ties, the Kremlin and Trump's office said.
Mr. Trump praised Mr. Putin during the election campaign.
"President-elect Trump noted to President Putin that he is very much looking forward to having a strong and enduring relationship with Russia and the people of Russia," Trump's office said in a statement on November 14th.
The Kremlin, in a far more specific and longer statement, said that Putin congratulated Trump on his victory and expressed Russia's readiness to "establish a partner-like dialogue with the new administration on the basis of equality, mutual respect and non-interference in domestic relations".
"During the call, the two leaders discussed a range of issues including the threats and challenges facing the United States and Russia, strategic economic issues and the historical US-Russia relationship that dates back over 200 years," Trump's office said.
In its statement, the Kremlin said Mr. Putin and Mr. Trump agreed that US-Russian ties were in "extremely unsatisfactory" condition.
They also talked about the fact that 2017 marked 210 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the countries "which in itself should stimulate a return to pragmatic, mutually beneficial co-operation".
Mr. Putin and Mr. Trump had agreed to stay in touch by phone and arrange to meet in person at a later date, the Kremlin added.
Mr. Obama met Mr. Trump last week and, at a press conference on November 14th, said the new president had "expressed a great interest in maintaining our core strategic relationships", including "strong and robust NATO" partnerships.
Mr. Obama was speaking ahead of a trip that takes in Germany, Greece and Peru.
He said he hoped Mr. Trump would "look at the facts" of the nuclear deal agreed with Iran, an accord the president-elect has to this point resolutely opposed.
Mr. Obama said he "absolutely" still had concerns about a Trump presidency and that there would be "certain elements of [Mr Trump's] temperament that will not serve him well unless he recognises them".
But he said there was "enormous continuity" in the US presidency and he believed the US would remain a "pillar of strength and a beacon of hope to peoples around the globe".
Mr. Trump will succeed Mr. Obama in the White House on January 20th./.
( Compiled by VNF )