Putin, Trump Discussed Ways to Normalize U.S.-Russia Relations

  • Russian leader agreed to meet U.S. President-elect in person
  • Both called to jointly combat terrorism, boost trade

Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump to congratulate him and discuss possibilities for improving relations in the future, according to the Kremlin.

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“During the conversation, Putin and Trump not only acknowledged current U.S.-Russia relations as highly unsatisfactory, but also called for joint work to normalize ties towards constructive cooperation on a wide range of issues,” the Kremlin said in a statement. “Pragmatic, mutually beneficial co-operation” between the two countries would be of interest to the world’s security.

Trump and Putin agreed on joining efforts to fight international terrorism and discussed peacemaking in Syria, according to the statement. Both leaders agreed that boosting mutual economic trade is important for bilateral ties.

Under Barack Obama’s administration, U.S.-Russia relations slid to their worst level since the Cold War amid economic sanctions against Russia for annexing Crimea and contradictions over Syrian peacemaking. Putin agreed to maintain phone contact with Trump and arrange a meeting in person in the future, the Kremlin said.

The leaders discussed “a range of issues” and a relationship between the two countries, according to a statement provided by Trump’s staff.

Trump told Putin that he’s “very much looking forward to having a strong and enduring relationship with Russia and the people of Russia,” according to the Trump statement.

Putin had praised Trump as a “colorful” personality during the election campaign and welcomed his pledge to improve the relationship with Moscow. Trump has said he’s willing to work with Putin on fighting Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

Trump previously said he’d consider recognizing Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea as well as lifting sanctions the U.S. and European Union imposed over the annexation and Russia’s clandestine military intervention in eastern Ukraine.

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