Vladimir Putin still isn’t ready to recognize the election victory of Joe Biden

Putin says he won't accept Biden as president

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he's happy to collaborate with every U.S. leader, but still reluctant to accept Joe Biden's election victory.

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"We'll work with anyone who has American people's trust," Putin said on Russian state TV Sunday. "But that trust can only be given to a candidate whose victory has been recognized by the opposing party, or after the results have been confirmed legally."

The remarks are among the most comprehensive since Putin's inauguration, one of a dwindling number of leaders who haven't accepted Biden as the next U.S. head of state. Russia, accused by U.S. intelligence services of interfering in 2016 to help elect Trump, was suspicious of Biden, expecting increased pressure on sanctions and disputes over human rights.

Putin characterized Biden's decision not to congratulate him as a formality" without further motives. When asked if the move would harm U.S.-Russia ties, he said: "there's nothing to damage, they're ruined."