US 'not surprised' at Vladimir Putin's reelection as Russia president, after China hailed 'best level' of ties with Moscow

The White House stopped short of congratulating Russian president Vladimir Putin on Monday, saying his reelection victory was "no surprise". But it added that there was no congratulatory phone call scheduled between Putin and US president Donald Trump.

File image of Russian president Vladimir Putin. AP

File image of Russian president Vladimir Putin. AP

Spokesman Hogan Gidley told reporters on Air Force One, which was carrying Trump to New Hampshire, that the US will work with Russia wherever it can.

"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," Gidley was quoted as saying by Reuters.

"We're not surprised by the outcome," he said of the Russian election, according to Reuters.

Several world leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, had congratulated Putin after he cruised to victory in Russia's presidential election, giving him at least another six years in power.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called Putin to congratulate him. "Conveying his compliments on Putin's success, the prime minister expressed the hope that under Putin's leadership, the special and privileged strategic partnership between India and Russia will continue to grow from strength to strength," the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said in a statement.

Chinese president Xi Jinping congratulated his Russian counterpart on his reelection, saying Beijing was willing to work with Moscow to take ties to a "higher level". "Currently, the China-Russia comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership is at the best level in history, which sets an example for building a new type of international relations," Xi had said in a congratulatory message to Putin.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Mar 20, 2018 11:29:25 IST

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