Putin finally congratulates Joe Biden on his election victory and says he is ‘ready for interaction’ with the president-elect after the Kremlin said he would wait for the official result
- Putin was one of the last world leaders who had not acknowledged Biden’s win
- He finally congratulated Biden after the electoral college confirmed the results
- The Kremlin said the Russian leader ‘wished the president-elect every success’
Russian leader Vladimir Putin finally congratulated Joe Biden on his US election victory today, hours after America’s electoral college rubber-stamped the results.
Putin was one of the last world leaders who had not acknowledged Biden’s victory, with the Kremlin saying it would wait for the official results of the election.
But after Monday’s procedures which formally elected Biden, Putin ‘wished the president-elect every success’ and said he was ‘ready for interaction and contact with you’, the Kremlin said.
Putin also ‘expressed confidence that Russia and the United States, which have a special responsibility for global security and stability, could, despite their differences, really help to solve the many problems and challenges facing the world’.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday congratulated Joe Biden on his victory in the U.S. presidential election
In the vote’s run-up, Putin had appeared to hedge his bets, frowning on Biden’s anti-Russian rhetoric but welcoming his comments on nuclear arms control. Putin had also defended Biden’s son, Hunter, against criticism from Trump.
Speaking to reporters on a conference call, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday that Moscow deemed it better to now wait before congratulating anyone.
‘We think it appropriate to wait for the official vote count,’ said Peskov.
Asked why in 2016 Putin had congratulated Trump soon after he had won the Electoral College and beaten Democrat Hillary Clinton, Peskov said there was an obvious difference this time round.
‘You can see that there are certain legal procedures that have been announced by the current president. That is why the situations are different and we therefore think it appropriate to wait for an official announcement,’ said Peskov.
He noted that Putin had repeatedly said he was ready to work with any U.S. leader and that Russia hoped it could establish dialogue with a new U.S. administration and find a way to normalise troubled bilateral relations.
‘President Putin has repeatedly said he will show respect for whatever choice the American people makes,’ Peskov said.
Moscow’s ties with Washington sank to post-Cold War lows in 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine. Biden was serving as vice president under President Barack Obama at the time.
Relations soured further over U.S. allegations that Moscow had meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election to try to tilt the vote in Trump’s favour, something the Kremlin denied.