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Montevideo, November 15th 2018 - 08:22 UTC

Putin favors “constructive” dialogue: but just as in love both sides must show an interest

Tuesday, March 20th 2018 - 11:12 UTC
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Congratulating him, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for “sustainable solutions” to international challenges without specifying which ones Congratulating him, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for “sustainable solutions” to international challenges without specifying which ones
The Russian leader officially won more than 76% of the vote in an election from which the main opposition leader was barred. The Russian leader officially won more than 76% of the vote in an election from which the main opposition leader was barred.
Mr Putin was warmly congratulated by Chinese President Xi Jinping but his strained relations with Western states were clear in Mr Macron's response. Mr Putin was warmly congratulated by Chinese President Xi Jinping but his strained relations with Western states were clear in Mr Macron's response.
In his phone call, the French leader asked for the Russian authorities to “shed all possible light on who was responsible in relation to the Salisbury attacks”. In his phone call, the French leader asked for the Russian authorities to “shed all possible light on who was responsible in relation to the Salisbury attacks”.
White House spokesman Hogan Gidley told reporters on Air Force One that no congratulatory phone call was scheduled with President Donald Trump. White House spokesman Hogan Gidley told reporters on Air Force One that no congratulatory phone call was scheduled with President Donald Trump.

Vladimir Putin has said he is open to “constructive” dialogue with other states after being re-elected president of Russia with an increased majority. Saying there would be no “arms race”, he promised to cut defense spending.

 Congratulating him, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for “sustainable solutions” to international challenges without specifying which ones. However, French President Emmanuel Macron raised the poisoning of an ex-spy in Britain with him.

Mr Putin officially won more than 76% of the vote in an election from which the main opposition leader was barred.

Mr Putin was warmly congratulated by Chinese President Xi Jinping but his strained relations with Western states were clear in Mr Macron's response.

In his phone call, the French leader asked for the Russian authorities to “shed all possible light on who was responsible in relation to the Salisbury attacks”.

The UK government has blamed Russia for the poisoning in Salisbury of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia - an allegation Russia rejects.

In his conversation with Mr Macron, Mr. Putin described the nerve agent allegations as “unsubstantiated and said Russia was willing to hold a joint investigation.

White House spokesman Hogan Gidley told reporters on Air Force One that no congratulatory phone call was scheduled with President Donald Trump.

”We will work to cultivate the relationship with Russia and we will impose costs when Russia threatens our interests, but we will also look for places to work together when it serves our interests,“ the spokesman added.

The head of Mr Putin's campaign team, Andrei Kondrashov, suggested that the ”groundless“ British accusations had encouraged voters to rally around the president.

Advocating dialogue with foreign states, he added: ”But of course that doesn't depend on us alone. Just as in love, both sides must show an interest or there will be no love.“

Speaking at a meeting with the defeated presidential candidates, Mr Putin said his top priority was economic growth. Saying that Russia had to further strengthen its defenses, he added: ”I would like to tell you straight away that no-one intends to unleash some kind of arms race.”

Putin has ruled Russia as either president or prime minister since 1999 but his share of the vote in the last election 2012 was smaller, at 64%. His nearest rival, the Communist Party's Pavel Grudinin, won just under 12%.

According to the constitution Mr Putin is required to step down in 2024, but he could change the rules to eliminate term limits. After his win he laughed off a question from a journalist about standing in 2030.

Categories: Politics, International.

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