Russia is obviously going to be punished for refusing to congratulate Joe Biden – if Joe Biden actually becomes president.
If Donald Trump remains president, however, Russia will be rewarded.
So: the refusal to congratulate implies that Vladimir Putin has some reason to believe that Trump may remain president.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied that his relationship with likely future US counterpart Joe Biden is off to a rocky start after he didn’t join many other world leaders in congratulating the former vice president.
In comments to the Rossiya-1 news channel, Putin said that it would have been improper to pre-empt the conclusion of the contest while the results have still not been made certain. “There is no hidden motivation and nothing unusual,” he told viewers, “and nothing that could cause our relationship to deteriorate… This is purely a formality.”
“The political custom dictates that [we send congratulations] when one of the parties recognizes the victory of the other, or the final results of the elections are finalised in a legitimate, legal way” Putin added.
Earlier this month, the president’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, informed reporters that Russia would wait to see the final results, or for one candidate to concede, before reaching out to either. He reiterated that “we consider it correct to wait for the official summing up of the results of the elections.”
It’s a nice way of saying it, but the thing is clear.
Let’s hope that Putin has serious intelligence leading him to believe that Trump has a plan to remain in office.
Although, he may simply be thinking: no matter what, Joe Biden is going to start wars with Russia, and there is nothing at all to be gained by congratulating him.