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Trump breaks ranks to congratulate Putin on landslide election victory

21 March 2018

"And also to discuss Ukraine, Syria and North Korea, so I think we'll probably be seeing President Putin in the not too distant future".

"It was right after the election, one of the first statements he made, and we are spending Dollars 700 billion there are this year, our military, and a lot of it is that we are going to remain stronger than any other nation in the world by far", Trump said.

"Special attention has been paid to working out the issue of holding a possible meeting at the highest level", the Kremlin said.

President Trump says he will soon be meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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US President Donald Trump (R) and Russia's President Vladimir Putin talk during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders' summit in the central Vietnamese city of Danang on November 11, 2017.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that Skripal's case was not discussed. Relations between the two countries instead have remained tense amid the allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election and the investigations of whether there was collusion between Trump's campaign and Russia.

"The two leaders discussed the state of bilateral relations and resolved to continue dialogue about mutual national security priorities and challenges", said a statement from the White House. Information on Syria and North Korea were also provided to the president in writing before the call, officials said.

No details were released about the timing or location of the possible meeting, which would be the third since Trump took office in January 2017.

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On Sunday, Putin secured a landslide victory in a presidential election that saw him return to the Kremlin for a fourth term with a record vote share.

The coordinated approach followed the Salisbury nerve agent attack earlier this month that has left a former Russian double agent and his daughter in comas and has plunged relations between London and Moscow to their worst in a generation.

Amid new East-West tensions over the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain, Trump had not been expected to congratulate Putin, and the Kremlin had previously said it did not regard his failure to do so as an unfriendly act.

Trump continues to grapple with the shadow of the ongoing investigation into whether his campaign colluded with Russian officials during the 2016 election.

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Trump breaks ranks to congratulate Putin on landslide election victory