Putin Speaks on Phone With Trump, Who Sees ‘Strong and Enduring Relationship With Russia’

Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen on Oct. 19, 2016 in Berlin, Germany. U.S. President-elect Donald Trump appears on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 10, 2016. (Credit: left, Sean Gallup/Getty Images; right, YURI GRIPAS/AFP/Getty Images)

Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen on Oct. 19, 2016 in Berlin, Germany. U.S. President-elect Donald Trump appears on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 10, 2016. (Credit: left, Sean Gallup/Getty Images; right, YURI GRIPAS/AFP/Getty Images)

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who became a focal point of the presidential campaign, called President-elect Donald Trump on Monday.

Trump’s transition team confirmed the call, “to offer his congratulations on winning a historic election.”

The release said the two men discussed “a range of issues including the threats and challenges facing the United States and Russia, strategic economic issues and the historical U.S.-Russia relationship that dates back over 200 years” and that Trump looks forward to “a strong and enduring relationship with Russia and the people of Russia.”

The call is notable on many counts. U.S. intelligence officials blamed the Russian government for hacking into Democrats’ emails in an effort to influence the election, Trump has also spoken positively of Putin — who was regarded by Mitt Romney and other Republicans as a central geopolitical foe — saying during the campaign that the Russian authoritarian is a better leader than President Obama.

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