Trump 'congratulates' Putin on inauguration
"The president congratulates him and looks forward to a time when we can hopefully have a good relationship with Russia," spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters.
Trump previously thanked Putin directly during a phone call shortly after the Russian president won re-election in March.
During his inauguration at Moscow's Grand Kremlin Palace, Putin thanked Russians for "the level of support shown in the presidential elections" and said the high level of support was important for the pursuit of Russian interests in the international arena.
On March 18, Putin was reelected for a fourth term as Russian president. He won the race with 76.69 percent of the vote.
But not everyone was enthusiastic about Putin's fourth consecutive term. Hundreds of protesters were arrested across Russia over the weekend as they participated in un-sanctioned rallies, including opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
Asked about the detentions, Sanders said "the United States believes that everyone has a right to be heard and assemble peacefully".
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