With Putin's re-election, expect rising tensions with the West

With Putin's re-election, expect rising tensions with the West

Despite a friendly-ish relationship with US President Donald Trump, Putin's new mandate gives him little incentive to seek entente with Washington, especially as the investigation of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US election intensifies.

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Monday (May 8) congratulated Russia's Vladimir Putin who was elected for another six years to lead the country after securing an expected landslide win at Sunday's presidential election, on his "solid victory".

Vladimir Putin has said he is open to "constructive" dialogue with other states after being re-elected president of Russian Federation with an increased majority.

Final Russian election results show Vladimir Putin overwhelmingly won a fourth presidential term with 76.67 percent of the vote, his highest score ever.

The leaders of Iran, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Venezuela, Bolivia and Cuba were among others who sent their best wishes.

His most vocal political opponent, Alexei Navalny, was barred from running in the election because of an embezzlement conviction that he says was created to keep him off the ballot.

Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures during a news conference after meeting with his staff at the campaign headquarters in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, March 18, 2018.

Addressing a rally in Moscow, Mr Putin said voters had "recognised the achievements of the last few years".

The brainchild of Putin's first press minister, Mikhail Lesin, RT has grown from an upstart, offbeat broadcaster into a sizable TV operation, with programming and publishing in English and five other languages and a $316 million budget from the Russian government, according to its latest figures.

Golos, an election-monitoring group, said that there were more than 1,500 violations across Russia, Bloomberg reported.

Critics accuse him of overseeing a corrupt, authoritarian system and of illegally annexing Ukraine's Crimea in 2014, a move that isolated Russian Federation internationally.

"There is no feeling that another six years will become Putin's last in power", liberal newspaper Vedomosti said in an editorial. Putin also received congratulations from the leaders of Kazakhstan, Belarus, Egypt, Venezuela, and Serbia.

In a statement released Monday, the far-right party also praised Putin for bringing Russian Federation back to prominence on the world stage.

Western sanctions on Russia imposed over Crimea and Moscow's backing of a pro-Russian separatist uprising in eastern Ukraine remain in place and have damaged the Russian economy, which only rebounded previous year after a prolonged downturn.

"The foreign policy factor guaranteed a high turnout", the newspaper wrote.

"The voting results will be annulled at five polling stations in three federal subjects of Russia", Pamfilova said.

The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which observed the polls, said the election was conducted "in an orderly manner" but criticised irregularities related to vote secrecy and insufficient transparency in counting ballots. Several showed election officials stuffing boxes with ballot papers. Ukraine is split between a volatile government in Kiev and a Russia-backed separatist region stuck in a frozen but still deadly conflict that serves Putin's interests. He clashed publicly with Sobchak on Sunday night, accusing her of being a Kremlin stooge.



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