In the morning after a democrat Joe Biden wins the US presidential election and became the new American leader, the Kremlin published greetings from Russian President Vladimir Putin, writes The New York Times…
Unlike his Western European colleagues, who very quickly congratulated Biden, Putin was somewhat “late” in congratulating him. However, four years ago, the Kremlin sent a message to President Donald Trump immediately after American television networks announced the results of the 2016 US presidential election.
This “late congratulation” and lack of comment on Joe Biden’s victory may indicate that Putin is preparing for a hostile relationship with America’s new president.
While Trump has never relied on an excessive rapprochement between the United States and Russia, his chaotic policies on the international stage have coincided with the Kremlin’s intentions to destabilize the West and expand Russian influence around the world.
Biden, on the other hand, is a newly elected president whom Putin has many reasons to fear.
The Democrat views Russia as one of America’s greatest national security threats and promises to repair damaged ties with European allies. In addition, as vice president of the United States, Biden has been active in supporting pro-Western politicians in Ukraine, which is at war with Russia.
Biden, unlike Trump, seems to many Russians to be the American politician whom they most “dislike”, because Biden is ready to fight for the support of democratic ideals, and not help Russia to destabilize the situation in the world.
As some U.S. states have counted votes in recent days, Russian state television has increasingly focused on Trump’s claim that Democrats stole the election. A Russian reporter in Washington made fun of the street celebrations of Biden’s victory.
Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday that the Kremlin was late in congratulating Biden out of deference to the trials Trump began.
“We think it would be right to wait for the official announcement of the election results. In any case, we hope that we will be able to establish a dialogue with the next US President and agree on ways to normalize our bilateral relations, ”said Peskov.
But the “sarcasm” on Kremlin-controlled television and the lack of quick congratulations to Biden on his victory may also indicate that Putin was trying to distance himself from Trump since Biden was the clear favorite in the US election race. Some Russian analysts and politicians have even suggested that the new leadership in Washington may be a positive moment for Moscow because even in the Kremlin they could already “get tired of Trump.”
Indeed, Putin, this fall did not “give” Trump what could be a valuable foreign policy victory – a new nuclear arms control agreement between countries.
But in a television interview last month, Putin praised Biden for his willingness to renew the nuclear weapons treaty.
“We will work with any future president of the United States — those to whom the American people express their confidence,” Putin said.
American intelligence has announced that Putin is interfering in the American elections and contributing to Trump’s victory. The Kremlin has denied interfering with American politics.
Indeed, the notion that Trump’s exit from the White House could diminish America’s suspicions of Russian interference in the 2016 elections, which would seem to be a real ray of hope for Russian-American relations, say some politicians and analysts, because “a key irritant “in relations between Russia and the United States may disappear.
Biden could also benefit Russia by bringing the US back to a nuclear deal with Iran.
Despite the fact that the Kremlin greeted Biden’s victory with a long silence, Putin’s most famous opponent, the leader of the Russian opposition, Alexei Navalny, posted on Twitter congratulations to Biden and newly elected Vice President Kamala Harris. He also congratulated the Americans on “free and fair elections.”
“Fair elections are a privilege that is not available to all countries. We look forward to a new level of cooperation between Russia and the United States,” Navalny wrote.
Putin’s Kremlin has long argued that Russian opposition activists such as Navalny are the tools by which the enemy West is pursuing its “anti-Russian agenda.” Russian media often say that the United States instigated “revolutions” throughout the former USSR.
Putin portrays himself as a defender of Russia from the West. However, a tough policy towards Russia in the United States can play to his advantage, because the conflict with the West and the United States is an important part of Putin’s legitimacy, the newspaper concludes.