VLADIMIR Putin said he is not ready to recognize Joe Biden as the winner of the US presidential election until the results are confirmed in a "legitimate, legal way."
The Russian president said he was willing to work with any US president, but noted that the opposing party – including current President Donald Trump – had also not accepted the results yet.
"We will work with anyone who has the confidence of the American people," Putin said during a Sunday appearance on Russian TV.
"But that confidence can only be given to a candidate whose victory has been has been recognized by the opposing party, or after the results are confirmed in a legitimate, legal way."
The comments come even as other leaders from across the world have offered their congratulations to Biden on his election win, and as Trump campaign lawsuits contesting the 2020 election continue to be tossed out.
Trump has refused to concede since the election was called on November 7 for Biden, and has repeatedly made claims of widespread voter fraud leading to his loss.
At this point, there has been no substantial evidence presented that any type of voter fraud was committed.
Putin said that his decision to not congratulate Biden on the win yet was "a formality" with no ulterior motives, according to Bloomberg.
He added, when asked if he thought his hesitation would damage US-Russia relations, that "there's nothing to damage; they're already ruined."
Putin's comments also come after former President Barack Obama revealed in his new memoir, A Promised Land, that when the two leaders met in 2009, Putin went on a '45-minute rant' about America.
The memoir, which was released on November 17, alleges that during a breakfast meeting, "Putin launched into a 'seemingly endless' diatribe about every single perceived injustice that he and the Russian people suffered at the hands of America," according to a publishing source.
"Putin said he liked President George W Bush personally and reached out after the September 11 attacks, to pledge his solidarity and had even offered Russia’s help in handling Saddam Hussein.
"But he said Bush went and invaded Iraq and accused him of destabilising the entire Middle East.
"The staffers who accompanied Obama to the meeting tried to cut it short when Putin was about thirty minutes into the rant.
"But Obama describes how he decided not to interrupt as it appeared that Putin had rehearsed the entire thing.
"It was 45 minutes before he finally stopped and Obama answered him point by point in what turned into a marathon two hour conversation."
Obama's 751-page memoir is part one of two volumes and covers his young life, up until the assassination of Osama bin Laden during the first term of his presidency.
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