Putin, Trump Have First Phone Conversation

Both sides say they want to improve ties
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 15, 2016 12:07 AM CST
Putin, Trump Speak for First Time
Russian President Vladimir Putin listens during a meeting in the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow on Monday.   (Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

(Newser) – Bromance isn't dead: Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump had their first phone conversation Monday, and both sides agreed that it went very well and that US-Russia relations are about to improve. According to a statement, Putin and Trump agreed "on the absolutely unsatisfactory state of bilateral relations" and are in favor of taking steps "to normalize relations and pursue constructive cooperation on the broadest possible range of issues," the New York Times reports. The Kremlin says the two men discussed issues including terrorism and an end to the Syria crisis, and plan to hold their first face-to-face meeting soon.

Putin was one of the first world leaders to congratulate Trump on his election victory last week. After Monday's conversation, Trump's office said Putin had called to offer more congratulations, and to discuss "strategic economic issues" and other aspects of the US-Russia relationship, reports the Washington Post, which notes that Trump appears ready to pursue a Russia policy very different from that sought by GOP defense hawks. Also on Monday, 76 foreign policy experts, including several who served in the Reagan administration, released a report calling for Trump to rethink his position on the Iran nuclear deal that he has called a "disaster" and plans to renegotiate or scrap, the New York Times reports. (Read more Donald Trump stories.)

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