Just hours after the Electoral College elected Joe Biden as the next president, formalizing the former Democratic vice president’s win in the Nov. 3 election, Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin finally acknowledged Biden’s victory, saying he “wished the president-elect every success” and was “ready for interaction and contact.”
The Kremlin, which has decried what it’s called Biden’s “sharp anti-Russian rhetoric” but praised the president-elect’s comments on arms control, previously said it preferred to wait until the election results were official before congratulating a winner.
Putin was one of the last world leaders who had not acknowledged Biden’s victory. President Donald Trump is still refusing to concede the election.
In a telegram sent to Biden, and published by Russia state media, Russia’s longtime leader “expressed confidence that Russia and the U.S., who bear special responsibility for global security and stability, can facilitate resolution of many problems and challenges faced by the world now despite disagreements.”
Putin’s remarks come as cybersecurity experts pointed the finger at Russian hackersfor a massive, months-long digital spying operation that targeted the U.S. government, military and corporations. Russia denies any involvement in the hacking attack.