Trump congratulates Putin on fourth election win and suggest 'arms race' top of agenda

Trump congratulates Putin on fourth election win and suggest 'arms race' top of agenda

US President Donald Trump has called Russian President Vladimir Putin to congratulate him on his re-election to a fourth term.

President Trump told reporters in the Oval Office that a meeting between the pair could happen soon and they would follow up on Mr Putin's recent declaration that he does not want an arms race with the United States.

"I suspect that we'll probably be meeting in the not too distant future to discuss the arms race, to discuss the arms race, which is getting out of control, but we will never allow anybody to have anything even close to what we have," President Trump said.

"Also to discuss Ukraine, Syria and North Korea and various other things."

The Kremlin said in a statement the two presidents spoke about the need to "co-ordinate efforts to limit the arms race" and for closer cooperation on strategic stability and counter-terrorism.

"Special attention was given to considering the issue of a possible bilateral summit," the Kremlin statement said.

In addition, President Trump and President Putin expressed satisfaction with the apparent easing of tensions over North Korea's weapons programme, according to the Kremlin.

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

They met on the sidelines of an international summit in Germany last summer and again more informally at another gathering of world leaders in Vietnam in November.

President Trump's call came after the White House imposed sanctions on Russia for its interference in the 2016 election and other "malicious cyberattacks".

The US also has sharply criticised Russia for its apparent role in a nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy and his daughter on British soil.

- Press Association & Digital Desk

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