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Trump calls Putin on re-election victory

Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures as he speaks during a meeting with opposition candidates who ran against him in yesterday's presidential election, Boris Titov, Maxim Suraykin, Ksenia Sobchak, Vladimir Zhirinivsky, Pavel Grudinin, Sergei Baburin and Grigory Yavlinsky, at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Monday, March 19, 2018. Putin, who won a landslide victory in Sunday's vote, said during a Kremlin meeting with seven other candidates who challenged him, that the focus should now be on raising living standards and solving other domestic issues. (Yuri Kadobnov/Pool Photo via AP)

MOSCOW (AP) U.S. President Donald Trump called Russian President Vladimir Putin Tuesday to congratulate him on his re-election, the Kremlin said.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed that Trump spoke with Putin Tuesday morning. She said a summary of the call would be released later.

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

The statement said they expressed satisfaction with the apparent easing of tensions over North Korea's weapons program.

Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying that the two leaders didn't discuss the poisoning of Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal in Britain. British officials have blamed the nerve agent attack on Skripal and his adult daughter on Russia. Russia has denied the accusations.

The Kremlin said Putin and Trump also discussed the Ukrainian crisis and the 7-year Syrian war, talked about expanding economic ties and discussed energy issues.

The presidents "agreed to develop further bilateral contacts, taking into account changes in the U.S. State Department," the Kremlin statement said in a reference to Trump's decision to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

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

Moscow has repeatedly said it hoped for better ties with the U.S. under Trump. Relations between the two countries instead have remained tense amid the allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the investigations of whether there was collusion between Trump's campaign and Russia.

The White House said Monday that it is "not surprised by the outcome" of Sunday's election, and that no congratulatory call was planned.

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