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Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulates Joe Biden on US election win

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Putin had held off congratulating Biden, saying he would wait until a winner is formally decided
Putin had held off congratulating Biden, saying he would wait until a winner is formally decided   -   Copyright  Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP
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Vladimir Putin has congratulated US President-elect Joe Biden on his election victory - six weeks after the vote itself.

The Russian president, who released a statement from the Kremlin on Tuesday, told the incoming president: "For my part, I am ready for interaction and contact with you."

The Kremlin added: "Putin wished the president-elect every success and expressed confidence that Russia and the United States, which have a special responsibility for global security and stability, could, despite their differences, really help to solve the many problems and challenges facing the world."

Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP
Donald Trump has refused to concede that he lost the electionManuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Many other nations congratulated Biden shortly after the results were announced in early November but Putin opted to wait until either the Electoral College formalised the win, or one candidate issued a concession.

Incumbent Donald Trump has repeatedly refused to concede his loss, promoting instead baseless accusations of electoral fraud.

On Monday night, however, the Electoral College gave Biden 306 votes against Trump's 232 - therefore formalising the Democrat's victory.

"We are just waiting for the end of the internal political confrontation," Putin said late last month, referencing Trump's court challenges over the veracity of the result.

The Russian President went on: "We will work with any person who will be given the trust of the American people. But who will be given this trust?

"It must either be indicated by political custom when one of the parties recognises the victory of the other, or the final results of the elections are summed up in a legitimate, legal way."