Kremlin Explains Putin's Silence on U.S. Election as Biden Wins

Russian President Vladimir Putin is withholding comment on the U.S. presidential election outcome in anticipation of the official results.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters in a phone briefing: "We believe it's correct to wait for the official results of the elections to be announced."

The Moscow Times reported these quotes, referring to remarks detailed by Russian state-run news agency Tass.

Asked why Putin did not wait for this last time when congratulating Trump in 2016, Peskov said the difference was "absolutely clear: there's currently a legal dispute of the results."

Peskov added that no matter the official outcome, the Russian government wants the nation and the U.S. to "normalize our bilateral relations."

He said: "In any case, we hope that we'll be able to establish a dialogue and agree together on ways to normalize our bilateral relations with the next U.S. president.

"A significant part of these bilateral relations, meaning stability and security, concerns not only our two nations but the nations of the whole world."

Newsweek has contacted the Kremlin for further comment.

In 2016, Putin was swift to congratulate Trump, detailing his hope then that he and the Republican president might "work together toward the end of the crisis in Russian-American relations, as well address the pressing issues of the international agenda and the search for effective responses to global security challenges."

While Putin is yet to comment on the 2020 election outcome, Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has congratulated Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

"Congratulations to @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris on the victory and to the Americans on defining the new leadership in a free and fair election. This is a privilege which is not available to all countries. Looking forward to the new level of cooperation between Russia and the US," he wrote in a Twitter post on Sunday.

World leaders such as Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the U.K., French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are among those who have sent congratulatory messages to Biden and Harris.

Biden and Harris have been deemed victors with news networks having called the election in their favor. However, Trump has refused to concede and is to pursue legal action in regard to vote counts in several states.

Trump tweeted Sunday: "Since when does the Lamestream Media call who our next president will be?"

He has persisted with his claim that he will be the winner if only votes he deems to have been cast legally are counted. The Trump legal team is yet to present eveidence to support their claims of widespread voter fraud.

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U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin arrive for a meeting in Helsinki, on July 16, 2018. The Russian president is yet to comment on the 2020 U.S. presidential election outcome. Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images