Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he would with any leader the US voters selected but he called for that leader to be chosen according to the US legal standards.
Putin Calls for “Legitimate and Legal” Results
“We will work with anyone who has the confidence of the American people,” Putin said on Russian state TV Sunday. “But that confidence can only be given to a candidate whose victory has been recognized by the opposing party, or after the results are confirmed in a legitimate, legal way.”
Putin has not contacted Democratic party candidate Joe Biden to acknowledge his alleged victory in the elections.
“We are just waiting for the end of the internal political confrontation,” Putin said”
Putin said the decision not to congratulate Biden was “a formality” with no other motives. When asked if the move could damage U.S.-Russia relations, he said: “there’s nothing to damage, they’re already ruined.”
Putin’s pessimistic remark may have been in reaction to an announcement on Sunday by President Trump that the US was withdrawing from Open Skies Treaty. The military treaty establishes a program of unarmed aerial surveillance flights over the entire territory of its 34 participating countries. The Trump administration has accused Russia of numerous violations.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call on Monday that part of the process is an acknowledgment by the White House that a new president has been duly elected.
President Donald Trump “must recognize the results of the elections and all lawsuits must be completed,” Peskov told reporters. “Only after that will the results be officially summed up. But obviously, that hasn’t happened yet.”
Trump Strict With Russia But Putin Has History of Disliking Biden
The Trump administration has been particularly strict in its relation with Russia, using economic sanctions as part of its policies such as when they annexed the Crimean peninsula. Nonetheless, there exists a bit of personal rancor between Putin and Biden. On a trip to Moscow as vice president in 2011, Biden reportedly said that Putin should not run for president in 2012. Biden voiced a preference for then-President Dmitry Medvedev who was favored by Biden’s boss, former President Barack Obama. This reportedly infuriated Putin. Putin also is thought to hold a grudge due to accusations by the Democratic party that he ordered his intelligence services to interfere in the 2016 elections.