United States President Donald J. Trump reached out to Russian President Vladimir Putin via a phone call on Tuesday to congratulate him on his reelection campaign to the Russian presidency, as well as to anticipate the possibility of an upcoming meeting “in the not too distant future.”
Trump said that “We had a very good call and I suspect that we’ll probably be meeting in the not-too-distant future to discuss the arms race, which is getting out of control.”
Absent from the contents of the phone conversation were any accusations regarding election meddling, cyber attacks, or ordering assassinations on foreign soil using banned chemical or biological agents.
Due to this interaction with the world’s declared villain, President Trump took some heat from some congressional politicians including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senator John McCain, who said “an American president does not lead the Free World by congratulating dictators on winning sham elections.”
Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders took to Trump’s defense on the basis that multiple allied western leaders had also called and congratulated Vladimir Putin on his reelection to the Russian Presidency, and that former President Barack Obama had also done as much during his tenure on Putin’s previous election victory.
Responding to a reporter about the fairness and degree of freedom of Putin’s election, Sanders said “we’re focused on our elections. We don’t get to dictate how other countries operate.”
Western media, and even a few heads of state, however, view Russia as the unmitigated enemy that cannot be negotiated, collaborated with, or congratulated for any reason whatsoever, reminding that as long as Russia prefers or is ruled by Vladimir Putin, that such a Russian election must be fraudulent, that Putin, beyond doubt, ordered the nerve agent attack on ex double agent Skripal and his daughter, and that the Russians are carrying out or abetting atrocities in the Middle East, supporting dictatorial regimes, occupying Crimea and parts of Georgia, hacking and meddling in the democratic elections of democracies the world over, and, of course, just being Russian.
By examining the actions that various world leaders took with regards to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s reelection, we get a sneak peak into just what the state of geopolitics the world over. Putin received expressions of congratulations and/or warm wishes from the following, among others:
- South Ossetia
- Saudi Arabia
- European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
However, what is most telling is the list of those who not only expressed their congratulations or warm wishes, or perhaps congratulated his accomplishments in Russia, but who expressed their interest in collaborating with him and strengthening ties:
- North Korea
- Czech Republic
- South Africa
The UK, who sees the election as suspect, sent no regards.