News (USA)

Putin gloats after Trump victory, says it will improve US-Russian relations

Russian President Vladimir Putin is giving a thumbs-up to president-elect Donald Trump’s victory.

In a brief statement Wednesday, the Kremlin said Putin has sent Trump a telegram to congratulate him on winning. Putin expressed “his hope to work together for removing Russian-American relations from their crisis state.”

Putin also says he has confidence that building a constructive dialogue between Moscow and Washington — one based on principles of equality, mutual respect and a real accounting each other’s positions — is in the interest of both nations and the world.

Appearing on state television, Putin said, “(Trump) spoke about resuming and restoring relations with Russia. We understand the way to that will be difficult, taking into account the current state of degradation of relations between the US and Russia.”

“As I have repeatedly said, that is not our fault that Russia-US relations are in that state. Russia is ready and wants to restore the fully fledged relations with the US. I repeat we understand this will be difficult but we are ready to play our part in it.”

Trump has drawn criticism for repeatedly praising Putin’s leadership and advocating a closer working relationship with Russia despite its record of human rights abuses and recent military incursions in Ukraine and Syria.

US intelligence and military officials have repeatedly warned that Russia was meddling in the United States election by hacking emails accounts linked to Clinton’s campaign and employing an army of internet trolls who spread anti-Clinton propaganda online while pretending to be Americans.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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