On Monday, Donald Trump received a phone call from Vladimir Putin, according to the Kremlin. After the long election season, what Trump and Putin talked about on the phone covered pretty much all the bases one would expect two world leaders to cover. According to the Kremlin news wire, the two began by lamenting the state of relations between Russia and the United States. Both leaders also "expressed support for active joint efforts to normalize relations and pursue constructive cooperation on the broadest possible range of issues."
What those issues are exactly remains unclear, but if they're the "broadest," it could mean standing by Russia's activities abroad but also some of its domestic policies as well, like the "anti-gay laws" that have some Russians fleeing to the United States where there is more acceptance. In addition to agreeing to have each others' backs, the two men also discussed their dedication to fighting terrorism — especially Syria.
According to the Kremlin, Trump and Putin "discussed issues related to solving the crisis in Syria," but again, no specifics were given about how they would do that. At the end of the phone call, they agreed to keep talking and start arranging for a person-to-person meeting as soon as possible.
The Trump team's report of the conversation mirrored that of the Kremlin. Officials issued a statement saying:
During the call, the two leaders discussed a range of issues including the threats and challenges facing the United States and Russia, strategic economic issues and the historical US-Russia relationship that dates back over 200 years.
It's unclear exactly how Putin and Trump will work together in the future, along with other aspects of his foreign policy. But Trump did say in his victory speech that his administration wanted to have good relations with other countries and said, "we will get along with all other nations willing to get along with us." Judging by the contents of the post-election phone call, Putin seems ready to get along with the United States for the first time in a long time — at least on the surface (how long that cordiality lasts is still up in the air).
Initially, just after the election here in the United States, Putin sent a telegraph (how "circa-1942" of him) to congratulate Trump on his win. According to The Washington Post, Putin and Trump expressed a “mutual respect and genuine consideration for each other’s positions” in the exchange.
Trump was by far Russia's favorite to win the election. (According to The New York Times, the state run news network even had an anchor call Hillary Clinton, "the blonde woman" after her loss.) Putin has not been shy about blaming Clinton for mass protests and public outcry following his election in 2012 either.
To be a fly on the wall while Trump and Putin spoke on the phone and know what they really said. Let's hope the two stick to email or something less ceremonious in the future so they can down to nitty gritty details. Everyone is dying to know what they'll get up to next.