ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will speak with Vladimir Putin on Friday, for the first time since weekend elections that will return Putin to Russia’s presidency, the White House said on Friday.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters aboard Air Force One that Obama would telephone the Russian president-elect while en route to a visit to the electoral battleground state of Virginia.
Official results showed Putin won more than 63 percent of votes in the weekend election, but independent international monitors said the poll was skewed to favor the powerful prime minister, who had been president for eight years until 2008.
Opponents demoralized with the former KGB spy’s dominance of Russia’s political system have branded his victory an insult to the Russian people.
Reporting By Laura Macinnis; Editing by Doina Chiacu