Putin refuses to accept Biden as US President – demands election in ‘legitimate legal way’

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The Russian leader said the victory must first be acknowledged by the incumbent Donald Trump. There is currently an escalating constitutional crisis in the US as Mr Trump will not concede defeat. Mr Putin on Sunday said: “We will work with anyone who has the confidence of the American people.”

But he added this confidence can only be given if the new president “recognised by the opposing party, or after the results are confirmed in a legitimate, legal way”.

Mr Biden was announced as president-elect two weeks ago.

However, Mr Trump has stated he lost the election because of voter fraud.

The incumbent president is contesting the votes in key states that cost him his re-election.

According to Bloomberg Mr Putin said there was no ulterior motive in him holding back from recognising the new president.

When Mr Trump was elected president in 2016, Mr Putin was extremely prompt in offering his congratulations.

However, a spokesman for Mr Putin, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters that this election is different.

Mr Peskov said: “Obviously, you can see that certain legal procedures are coming there.

“These were announced by the incumbent president.

“The situation is different, so we consider it correct to wait for the official announcement.”

Mr Biden has been known for his support for Ukraine in its opposition to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and invasion of Eastern Ukraine.

Mr Peskov said the congratulatory message from Putin will come with an expected protocol.

Mr Peskov added: “I remind you that Vladimir Putin said more than once that he will respect any choice of American people.

“He will be ready to work with any chosen president of the United States.”

Speaking about Mr Biden, former Soviet Union president Mikhail Gorbachev said: “I have met with him several times.

“I got the impression that he understands the importance of relations with Russia.

“I hope that Joe Biden will strive to normalise relations and recover trust between our countries.”

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