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Putin congratulates Biden on election win, says ready for ‘collaboration’

Russian president, one of the last world leaders to wish the US president-elect well, says he hopes the 2 countries can work together ‘despite their differences’

Then US Vice President Joe Biden, left, shakes hands with then Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russia, March 10, 2011. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)
Then US Vice President Joe Biden, left, shakes hands with then Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russia, March 10, 2011. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday congratulated Joe Biden on winning the US presidential election in November, saying he hoped the countries could set aside their differences to promote global security.

Putin wished the US president-elect every success and said that, “for my part, I am ready for collaboration and contacts with you,” according to a Kremlin statement.

The Russian president was one of the last remaining leaders of major world countries to have held back on congratulating Biden, who was confirmed as the next US president by the Electoral College on Monday.

Officials in Moscow, including the country’s elections chief and foreign minister, had earlier criticized the US elections process, describing it as archaic and not representative of the will of the people.

In his congratulatory telegram to Biden, Putin said that their countries “bear special responsibility for global security and stability.”

In this July 7, 2017, photo, US President Donald Trump (R) meets Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 Summit in Hamburg. (AP/Evan Vucci)

He said he was confident that Russia and the United States could, “despite their differences, really contribute to solving many problems and challenges that the world is currently facing.”

Biden is expected to take a tougher stand against Russia than outgoing US President Donald Trump, whom he slammed during the campaign for having “embraced so many autocrats around the world, starting with Vladimir Putin.”

Russia was accused of interfering in the 2016 US election to help get Trump elected, in the hope he would take a softer line with Moscow.

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