Russian President Vladimir Putin has congratulated Joe Biden on his win in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, becoming one of the last world leaders to do so. Hours afterward, other leaders who had held off in recognizing Biden's victory — Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador — also congratulated Biden.
All three leaders had recently said they would wait for the U.S. election results to become official before contacting the winner. They reached out to Biden after the Electoral College affirmed his defeat of President Trump.
"For my part, I am ready for interaction and contacts with you," Putin said in his message to Biden, according to a statement from the Kremlin.
Bolsonaro addressed Biden as the president, saying he was sending his best wishes and hopes to the United States.
López Obrador congratulated Biden, saying in his morning news conference that he has sent Biden a letter. López Obrador said he hopes to work with Biden on migration issues.
Putin extended his good wishes to Biden the same week that U.S. officials said Russia infiltrated email systems at multiple agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of the Treasury. Russia has rejected the accusations, saying it did not play a role. But the country has previously been found to have used hackers and other means in attempts to influence elections in the U.S. and a number of other countries.
Despite a delay much longer than in 2016, when Putin sent Trump a congratulatory message the morning after the vote, a comparison of the Kremlin's official statements shows Putin's messages to Biden and Trump to be very similar. Both of the notices, for example, highlight Putin's confidence that the two longtime rival nations will be able to cooperate on important issues.
It remains to be seen when the two will speak directly. In 2016, Putin and Trump spoke by phone less than a week after the Russian leader extended his congratulations.
While many U.S. allies and other countries were quick to congratulate Biden after U.S. news organizations called the race on Nov. 7, a number of high-profile leaders held off.
Chinese President Xi Jinping congratulated Biden in late November, for instance, more than a week after India's Narendra Modi and Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu — two Trump allies — called Biden.
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