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Clinton calls Putin to congratulate his election win
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- U.S. President Bill Clinton called Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin Monday morning to congratulate him on his victory in Russia's presidential elections.
In a statement released by the White House, Clinton called Sunday's vote "an important milestone in the development of a democratic Russia."
"The people of Russia demonstrated again their intense commitment to democracy," he said. "Roughly 70 percent of eligible Russians voted."
Clinton said that in his conversation with Putin he "emphasized the importance to Russia and the world of strengthening the foundations of Russia's democracy and deepening its international integration."
"President-elect Putin has an opportunity to translate his electoral mandate into concrete steps to advance economic reform, to strengthen the rule of law, to intensify the fight against crime and corruption and to join with us on a broad common agenda of international security including arms control, nonproliferation and regional peace and stability," Clinton said.
The president said he expressed his concerns about the war in Chechnya.
"I stressed to President-elect Putin the importance of launching impartial and transparent investigations of reported human rights violations and providing prompt and full access fair international organizations and the press," he said.
Administration officials say the call, initiated by Clinton, lasted 16 minutes.
Voting begins in Russian presidential election
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