Putin finally congratulates Biden, ahead of most Republican leaders

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday congratulated on winning the U.S. election, becoming the last world leader to do so after weeks of holding out.

Putin’s message to Biden came a day after the U.S. electoral college confirmed Biden as the nation’s next president, ratifying his November victory in an authoritative state-by-state repudiation of President Trump’s refusal to concede that he had lost.

The Kremlin had said earlier that Putin would hold off on congratulating Biden until the winner was officially confirmed.

“We are just waiting for the end of the internal political confrontation,” Putin said last month, referring to numerous Republican challenges to the vote count, virtually all of which have failed.

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Most major world leaders congratulated Biden within days of the Nov. 3 vote, with China and Russia as notable exceptions. Chinese President extended his congratulations Nov. 25.

Most of the GOP’s leaders and lawmakers have yet to publicly acknowledge Biden as president-elect.

In his message, Putin wished Biden “every success,” according to a Kremlin statement Tuesday, and expressed confidence that “Russia and the U.S., which bear special responsibility for global security and stability, can, despite the differences, really contribute to solving many problems and challenges that the world is currently facing.”

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The Russian president noted that “Russian-American cooperation based on the principles of equality and mutual respect would meet the interests of the people in both countries and the entire international community.”

“For my part, I am ready for interaction and contact with you,” Putin was quoted by the Kremlin as saying.

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