Putin Holding Off on Presidential Congratulations Until All Legal Challenges Resolved

November 23, 2020 Updated: November 23, 2020

Russian leader Vladimir Putin said he is unable to recognize Democratic challenger Joe Biden as the president until either President Donald Trump concedes or until the election is certified.

Putin said Sunday that he will “work with anyone who has the confidence of the American people.”

“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,” he said, according to Bloomberg News.

Earlier this month, the Kremlin did not acknowledge Biden as the victor of the election.

On Sunday, Putin said the move not to congratulate Biden is “a formality” and has no ulterior motives.

Putin was then asked about whether U.S.-Russia relations could be damaged as a result: “There’s nothing to damage, they’re already ruined.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday that President Donald Trump “must recognize the results of the elections and all lawsuits must be completed,” adding: “Only after that will the results be officially summed up. But obviously, that hasn’t happened yet.”

Other world leaders who have not called a winner in the race include Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa, and others.

“We cannot meddle in the politics of other countries. … We have to be respectful,” the Mexican president said earlier this month.

A number of news outlets have called the race for Biden, but the Epoch Times has not due to outstanding legal challenges and because the election’s certification is still pending.