Tuesday, December 15, 2020 6:08 pm
By Nehru Odeh
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday congratulated US President-elect Joe Biden on his electoral victory, six weeks after the vote and a day after the Electoral College officially affirmed his victory at the 3 November poll.
While many world leaders congratulated Biden within days of the election, the Kremlin said at the time that it deemed it “correct” to wait for the official results before Putin congratulated the winner.
“Putin wished the president-elect every success and 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,” the Kremlin said in a statement.
Putin also noted that “Russian-American cooperation based on the principles of equality and mutual respect would meet the interests of people in both countries as well as the entire international community.”
“For my part, I am ready for cooperation and contacts with you,” the Russian President said.
Officials in Moscow, including the country’s elections chief and foreign minister, had earlier criticised the US elections process, describing it as archaic and not representative of the will of the people.
However, many believe it took Kremlin so long to congratulate Biden because of the harmonious relationship been Trump and Putin and as a show of implicit support for the American president. And the long delay has been widely viewed as a prelude to a frosty relationship between the Kremlin and Biden’s White House.
However, if Biden’s criticism of President Donald Trump for “embracing do many autocrats around the world” is anything to go by, he is expected to take a tougher stand against Russia than Trump.
Russia was accused of interfering in the 2016 U.S. election to help get Trump elected, in the hope he would take a softer line with Moscow. In August, the U.S. intelligence community warned that Russia was again actively seeking to meddle in America’s democratic process. An intelligence assessment found that Moscow was trying to “denigrate” Biden, then the presumptive Democratic nominee, and that some actors linked to the Kremlin were trying to boost Trump’s candidacy ahead of the 2020 election.
Moscow has always rejected allegations of interference in any other country’s politics.