Vladimir Putin officially congratulates Joe Biden on presidential victory
The statement comes some 42 days after Biden was projected winner
Joe Biden has been officially congratulated on his victory in the US presidential election by Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Incumbent President Donald Trump has yet to formally concede defeat, even though Biden's victory has been affirmed through the Electoral College.
Putin's press secretary Dmitry Peskov previously stated that the Russian president would wait for "official results" before recognising Biden as the winner in the US election.
Relations between Putin and Biden are believed to be tense, following the latter's stint as Vice President to Barack Obama.
The two are said to fundamentally disagree on foreign policy issues. With his KGB background, Putin sees international affairs as a game of manipulation, which is at odds with Biden's ideological approach.
During a vice presidential visit to Russia in 2011, Biden courted controversy when he offered his best wishes to then-president Dmitry Medvedev. Medvedev was running against his ex-mentor Putin in pursuit of a second term in office.
Biden believed Medvedev heralded Russia's "future".
Speaking to New Yorker magazine in 2014, the President-elect said he once told Putin he didn't have a "soul", to which the Russian president responded by saying, "We understand each other".
— President of Russia (@KremlinRussia_E) December 15, 2020
However, the Russian president has now formally recognised Biden's victory. A statement posted on the Kremlin website reads:
"Vladimir Putin wished the President-elect every success and expressed confidence that Russia and the United States, which bear special responsibility for global security and stability, can, despite their differences, effectively contribute to solving many problems and meeting challenges that the world is facing today.
"The President of Russia noted that with this in mind, Russian-American cooperation, based on the principles of equality and mutual respect, would meet the interests of both nations and the entire international community.
"For my part, I am ready for interaction and contacts with you."