Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he is ready to work with any US leader, but still not ready to recognise the election victory of Joe Biden.
“We will work with anyone who has the confidence of the American people,” Putin said on Russian state TV on Sunday. “But that confidence can only be given to a candidate whose victory has been recognised by the opposing party or after the results are confirmed in a legitimate, legal way.”
The comments are some of the most detailed since the election, from Putin, one of a dwindling number of leaders, who have not recognised Biden as the next US head of state.
Russia, accused by US intelligence agencies of intervening in 2016 to help get Trump elected, has been wary of Biden, fearing an increase in sanctions pressure and clashes over human rights.
Putin described the Kremlin’s decision not to congratulate Biden as “a formality” with no ulterior motives. When asked if the move could damage US-Russia relations, he said: “There’s nothing to damage, they’re already ruined.”