President Donald Trump will speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin by phone tomorrow, according to the Kremlin. Putin phoned Trump to congratulate him on his election victory in November but the two world leaders have not spoken in a formal capacity.
“As it usually happens during such contacts, the sides will naturally exchange opinions on key parameters of the current state of bilateral affairs,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. “One can hardly expect substantive contacts on the entire range of affairs from this call … Let us wait and see, let us be patient.”
US intelligence agencies have concluded that Russian state agents hacked the Democratic National Committee during the presidential election and the Russian state acted with the intention of helping Donald Trump to get elected. The Trump team has refused to accept the intelligence community’s findings.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has pursued an aggressive, nationalist policy over the last few years. Russia has seized territory in neighboring Georgia, invaded and occupied Ukraine and formally annexed the Ukrainian region of Crimea.
It is not clear what Trump and Putin will discuss but Trump has spoken favorably of the Russian autocrat. Trump’s pick for secretary of state, former Exxon Mobile chief Rex Tillerson, has personally opposed US sanctions on Russia over the Ukrainian invasion.