Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold off on the congratulations to Joe Biden until all U.S. election results are finalized, or one of the candidates concedes defeat, unlike many other world leaders who have congratulated the former vice president.
Putin told the Rossiya-1 news channel it would not be proper to anticipate the election results with many ongoing legal issues.
“There is no hidden motivation and nothing unusual,” he told viewers, “and nothing that could cause our relationship to deteriorate … This is purely a formality,” as reported by RT.
“The political custom dictates that [we send congratulations] when one of the parties recognizes the victory of the other, or the final results of the elections are finalized in a legitimate, legal way,” Putin added.
His stance is in stark contrast to his 2016 congratulatory message to President Trump when he stunningly won the election over Hilary Clinton. Putin was quick to congratulate President Trump on his victory.
“The difference is quite obvious,” Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, according to Interfax. “You see that there are certain legal procedures ahead, which were announced by the incumbent president. This is the difference. Therefore, we consider it correct to wait for the official announcement.”
He added, “There are no official results yet.”
On Monday, Peskov told reporters, “Anticipating your possible question about Putin congratulating the U.S. president-elect, I want to say the following: We consider it correct to wait for the official summing up of the results of the elections,” according to Interfax, the Russian news agency.
In what would seem as support of President Trump’s claims of widespread election fraud, as yet to be proven, the head of Russia’s Central Election Commission, Ella Pamfilova, made the point that all voting by mail was prohibited because of the risks of voter fraud.
Pamifilova stated in an interview with Tass news agency that the U.S. elections highlighted the “immense scope for possible falsifications” linked to mail-in voting, and exactly why she had banned it in Russia.
U.S.officials are claiming the vote was “the most secure in American history,” meanwhile, President Trump has doggedly stuck to his claims that the election was “rigged,” taking to Twitter to announce, “I won this election, by a lot!”