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"Donald Trump congratulated Vladimir Putin on his winning the presidential elections", the Kremlin said, reported Russian state news agency TASS.

John McCain, R-Ariz., who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee and has pressed the Trump administration to respond aggressively to Russia's interference in the USA presidential election.

Trump's decision to congratulate Putin on his victory prompted immediate criticism from Russian Federation hawks in Congress like Arizona Sen. "Putin has been elected in their country and it not something we can dictate to them how they operate", Sanders said.

The U.S. State Department endorsed the OSCE's preliminary findings, said spokesperson Heather Nauert, and called Trump's call to Putin "protocol".

Ties between Russian Federation and the United States have been severely strained by disagreements over issues including Russia's aggression in Ukraine, its role in the war in Syria, and its alleged interference in Western politics and elections.

Her comments were notably tougher on Russian Federation than those coming from the White House.

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She said the USA doesn't "get to dictate how other countries operate" after a reporter questioned whether Russia's election was "free and fair".

The White House later said there were no specific plans for a meeting.

Trump himself has always been reluctant to publicly criticize Putin.

U.S. officials as recently as last week promoted the idea of a Russia-U.S. meeting in the near future in order to discuss the arms race and crises in Ukraine, Syria and North Korea.

Trump told reporters on Tuesday as he met with Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman of Saudi Arabia that he had congratulated Putin in a call. Russian Federation has denied the accusations.

Trump also chose not to heed talking points from aides instructing him to condemn Putin about the recent poisoning of a former Russian spy in the United Kingdom with a powerful nerve agent, a case that both the British and US governments have blamed on Moscow.

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The Kremlin said in a statement that the two presidents also spoke about the need to "coordinate efforts to limit the arms race" and closer cooperation on strategic stability and counter-terrorism.

With U.S. -Russian relations at a long-time low, Peskov said, "Putin remains open for normalizing relations with our American partners where it is in our interests".

No details were released about the timing or location of a possible meeting, which would be their third since Trump took office in January 2017. Russian Federation has repeatedly said it hoped for better ties with the USA under Trump.

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel made customary calls to Putin but voiced their grievances with the Kremlin's current domestic and foreign policies.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said: "I don't believe that was discussed".

The flap comes as Donald Trump continues to fight off allegations that his campaign colluded with Russian Federation during the 2016 election.

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