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Putin withholding recognition of Biden win until legal challenges resolved

Putin withholding recognition of Biden win until legal challenges resolved
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Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinRussian protesters pelt police with snowballs as more than 2,000 arrested Russia arrests hundreds of protesters demanding release of Kremlin critic Navalny What might have been, if Trump had not acted as his own worst enemy MORE will withhold recognition of President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenDC residents jumped at opportunity to pay for meals for National Guardsmen Joe Biden might bring 'unity' – to the Middle East Biden shouldn't let defeating cancer take a backseat to COVID MORE's win in the presidential election until President TrumpDonald TrumpNYT: Rep. Perry played role in alleged Trump plan to oust acting AG Arizona GOP censures top state Republicans McCain, Flake and Ducey Biden and UK prime minister discuss NATO, multilateralism during call MORE'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.

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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.