MOSCOW – President Vladimir Putin refuses to recognize Joe Biden as President-elect of the United States. The Kremlin said on Monday that it would continue to stand by his man’s side as long as “legal proceedings are pending,” although it is unlikely that any of Trump’s complaints will be taken seriously by American courts.
Putin’s reluctance is not surprising: Biden once called Russia “the greatest threat to America” and the Kremlin is clinging to old words and old meanings. Russian state television made it clear throughout the election that Trump was the Kremlin’s preferred candidate, and politicians in Moscow told the Daily Beast, “There is nothing good to be expected from Biden . “
For the Kremlin, it’s no secret what Biden thinks of Putin. In 2011, the then-vice president held a meeting with Russian opposition leaders at the US Ambassador’s residence in Moscow, Spaso House. One of the participants, Boris Nemtsov, who was later assassinated in Moscow, wrote in his blog: “Biden said that [if he were] instead of Putin, he would not run for president in 2012, because that would be bad for the country and for himself.
Since then, a lot of water has passed under the bridge. Vladimir Putin not only ran for a third and fourth term, but he changed the Constitution to allow two more terms, potentially extending his reign until 2036. Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Aleksey Navalny, who is recovering from an assassination attempt in Germany, clearly appreciated Biden’s. past support, posting a congratulatory tweet: “Congratulations to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for the victory and to the Americans for defining the new leadership in a free and fair election. This is a privilege that is not available in all countries. Looking forward to the new level of cooperation between Russia and the United States. “
Russian police raided the Navalny Anti-Corruption Foundation office on Thursday and confiscated all equipment and even a disco ball from the ceiling, as well as money in employee handbags. “People in epaulettes often tell me that they are soldiers carrying out orders from evil bosses,” Navalny wrote. “But yesterday’s raids on our offices demonstrated a complete degradation of the system in its depths.”
Biden, unlike President Trump, commented on the attack on Navalny – no other signal could be clearer to the Kremlin about the potential for a future relationship with a Biden administration. The Kremlin seems so nervous about Navalny, even when he’s in Germany, that Putin refuses to speak his name publicly.
No one in Moscow doubts that Biden will continue to defend Ukraine’s interests and punish Russia for annexing Crimea. A report from the US Treasury Department said in early September that Ukrainian Congressman Andriy Derkach, at the forefront of disinformation about Biden and his son Hunter, was “an active Russian agent for more than a decade.”
Meanwhile, weeks before the US presidential election, Kremlin officials have said Russia is far from a nuclear deal with the United States. The White House has rejected Putin’s proposal to keep the last major deal, New Start, alive. The deal expires in February of next year. As the arms negotiations unfolded, Rossiya-24, a state television station, broadcast Putin’s meeting with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov so that the whole nation could witness Putin’s reaction: ” So we have a clear threat to leave the world without this deal? Putin asked. Lavrov confirmed, “And without any other document that would provide mutual approaches to maintain strategic stability.”
Washington-based Kremlinologist Nikolay Zlobin predicted that Russia would become America’s No.1 enemy under Biden’s presidency. Zlobin told the Interfax news agency that there would be no end to economic sanctions against Russia under the Democratic president.
“Putin will wait for the official decision on election results, state certifications, before congratulating Biden,” Sergei Markov, an analyst close to the Kremlin, told the Daily Beast.
“No one expects him to be an independent leader, it is the anti-Russian deep state of the US secret service that will continue to rule America,” predicted Markov. “The Hybrid War that began in 2014 when the United States aided the revolution in Ukraine will continue, as will the Cold War with Russia.”
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