Putin withholding recognition of Biden win until legal challenges resolved

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Russian President Vladimir Putin will withhold recognition of President-elect Joe Biden’s win in the presidential election until President Trump’s legal challenges are resolved in the U.S. courts, a Kremlin spokesperson said Monday. 

Dmitry Peskov said Moscow believes it is more “appropriate” to wait for the conclusion of legal challenges and an “official announcement” before congratulating Biden.

“Obviously, you can see that certain legal procedures are coming there, which were announced by the incumbent president — therefore this situation is different, so we consider it correct to wait for the official announcement,” Peskov said, The Associated Press reported.

Peskov added that Putin had “repeatedly said he would respect the choice of the American People” and is ready to work with any U.S. president, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty quoted the spokesman as saying. 

Most world leaders have already congratulated Biden amid unsubstantiated charges by Trump of election fraud and a slew of legal challenges. Trump has so far refused to concede the election, and Republican allies, while supporting the president’s option to exhaust legal options, have said they believe the results are unlikely to change.

The president has long come under scrutiny for his relationship with Putin, with critics saying the incumbent has failed to confront Moscow on a host of critical national security issues.

Trump, for example, did not forcefully call out Moscow’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, refused raise with Putin reports of the Kremlin offering bounties on U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan and has so far withheld sanctions on Moscow over the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

A handful of leaders are also withholding their congratulations to Biden, including those in China, Brazil and Turkey. Mexico’s president has also said he will wait for the conclusion of legal challenges before offering comment. 

Tags 2020 election Donald Trump Joe Biden Russia Vladimir Putin

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