Kremlin shrugs off White House refusal to congratulate Putin

Kremlin shrugs off White House refusal to congratulate Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures as he speaks during a meeting with opposition candidates who ran against him in yesterday's presidential election, Boris Titov, Maxim Suraykin, Ksenia Sobchak, Vladimir Zhirinivsky, Pavel Grudinin, Sergei Baburin and Grigory Yavlinsky, at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Monday, March 19, 2018. Putin, who won a landslide victory in Sunday's vote, said during a Kremlin meeting with seven other candidates who challenged him, that the focus should now be on raising living standards and solving other domestic issues. (Yuri Kadobnov/Pool Photo via AP)

MOSCOW (AP) — The Kremlin spokesman says it’s no big deal that U.S. President Donald Trump didn’t congratulate Vladimir Putin on his re-election as president.

Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Tuesday that he doesn’t consider Trump’s silence an “unfriendly move.” Peskov said maybe Trump’s schedule didn’t allow it and suggested he might call later.

The White House said Monday that it is “not surprised by the outcome” of Sunday’s election, and that no congratulatory call was planned.

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.”

Putin was overwhelming re-elected in Sunday’s election for another six-year term, in a vote where his only serious opponent was banned from running.