Vladimir Putin won the Russian presidential elections, which put him in the office for next six years. The U.S. President Donald Trump congratulated him on his victory over a phone call despite the warning from aides to not congratulate him. In the backdrop of investigations in the country over Russian meddling in the 2016 Presidential elections, this conversation might indicate that there was help from Russia in his win over the White house. Moreover, Trump needed to condemn poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in the U.K., which he did not. Trump said in a statement, “I had a call with President Putin and congratulated him on the victory, his electoral victory.”
He added that both of them “will probably get together in the not-too-distant future” to negotiate the future of the international arms. Moreover, this phone call has gained a lot of criticism from Trump’s critics. “An American president does not lead the Free World by congratulating dictators on winning sham elections,” Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said in a statement criticizing the call. “And by doing so with Vladimir Putin, President Trump insulted every Russian citizen who was denied the right to vote in a free and fair election.”
Putin’s victory and circumstances in which he won have led to criticisms across the world. However, the White House denied commenting on the way in which elections were conducted and won. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at the White House press briefing on Tuesday, “We’re focused on our elections. We don’t get to dictate how other countries operate. What we do know is that Putin has been elected in their country.”
Trump’s remarks on arms race came after the top commander of the U.S. for nuclear weapons commented that the U.S. needs another weapon to add to its arsenal. Air Force Gen. John Hyten, the commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, said, “That capability is a deterrence weapon to respond to the threat that Russia in particular is portraying.”
Vladimir Putin made news last month by boasting about new nuclear weapons, including underwater drone, a hypersonic missile and a cruise missile having an unlimited range. Russia poses the most significant threat to the U.S. as it presents “the only existential threat to the country right now.”
Trump has been praising and admiring Putin from those times when he did not even run for the President. He became the only U.S. commander in chief to congratulate Russian President for the victory. Then-President Barack Obama called Putin to congratulate on a victory in 2012. The U.S.-Russia relationship was controversial at that time due to conflict in Syria. Trump criticized Obama for the way he handled the Syrian war situation. He said that President Obama decided to establish a ‘red line’ against utilization of chemical weapon but did nothing. Now, the war in Syria has been raging and the Russian President threatened to take action against the U.S. forces if they attack Russian servicemen. It is interesting to see how the U.S.-Russian relations will be shaped in the future after the call.