Russia, China Remain Wary of Congratulating Biden

Kremlin says Putin will wait for official results
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 9, 2020 6:42 AM CST
Updated Nov 9, 2020 7:26 AM CST
Putin Holding Off on Congratulating Biden
Russian President Vladimir Putin at Red Square in Moscow, during National Unity Day on Nov. 4.   (Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Numerous world leaders have congratulated Joe Biden on becoming president-elect, but two of them have remained notably silent. Russia's Vladimir Putin and China's Xi Jinping appear to be waiting until President Trump's legal challenges are over. "Anticipating your possible question about Putin congratulating the US 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," said Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Monday, per Politico. Meanwhile, the head of Russia's election commission is making a point to echo one of Trump's complaints, asserting that voting by mail "opens immense scope for possible falsifications" and banning the practice in Russia.

China also made clear it didn't intend to recognize Biden as the next US leader until the legal issues are settled. "We understand that the outcome of the general election will be determined in accordance with the laws and procedures of the United States," said a Foreign Ministry spokesman on Monday, per CNN. "We will handle the issue of the statement (of congratulations) in accordance with international practice." Other leaders, including Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu, Germany's Angela Merkel, and France's Emmanuel Macron, have offered their congratulations, notes the Guardian. For the record, it has the president of the Maldives, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, as the first to do so with a message that went out 24 minutes after networks called the race for Biden. (More Vladimir Putin stories.)

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