President Trump is not the only leader yet to recognize Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has not yet congratulated—or acknowledged—former Vice President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election, with a spokesman indicating Russia would wait until the legal avenues have been exhausted.
The Kremlin was not alone. While many European leaders expressed congratulations, including Angela Merkel, Boris Johnson, Emmanuel Macron and Justin Trudeau, both China’s Xi Jinping and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un joined Putin in silence.
And as of Monday, Trump had refused to acknowledge his defeat and has continued to push allegations of voter fraud. Putin’s reaction is a departure from 2016 when he quickly congratulated Trump on his victory over Hillary Clinton.
“We consider it correct to wait for the official results of the elections to be announced,” Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said on a conference call, the Russian news agency Tass reported.
Peskov added that Putin had said he was ready to work with any U.S. leader, Reuters reported. The lack of congratulations has not been lost on Russia-watchers, according to a CNBC report.
“Think Putin is trying to send a message that Russia does not care what happens in the U.S.—that somehow Russia is above all this,” Timothy Ash, senior emerging markets strategist at Bluebay Asset Management said in a note Sunday. “Ridiculous, given Putin (drove) the agenda in 2016, putting Trump in the White House and tried his best to get him re-elected.”
Despite U.S. economic sanctions against his country, Putin appeared to have a decent relationship with Trump. A relationship with Biden is yet to be clearly defined.
So, buckle up. As analysts told CNBC before the result, the expectation is that a Biden-Kamala Harris victory will ramp up the Washington-Moscow discord.