Russian President Vladimir Putin said he won’t recognize President-elect Joe Biden’s projected victory in the U.S. election until the results are confirmed “in a legitimate, legal way” or until the former vice president’s win is “recognized by the opposing party.”
According to Bloomberg, the Russian leader made the comment during remarks on state-owned television on Sunday.
“We will work with anyone who has the confidence of the American people,” Putin stated. “But that confidence can only be given to a candidate whose victory has been recognized by the opposing party, or after the results are confirmed in a legitimate, legal way.”
Putin also reportedly claimed that the delay, which he called “a formality,” wouldn’t hurt relations between Washington and Moscow because “there’s nothing to damage.”
“They’re already ruined,” he said, according to the network.
A Kremlin spokesperson previously said Putin wouldn’t recognize Biden’s win until legal challenges mounted by President Trump’s campaign immediately after Election Day were resolved in court.
Putin’s latest comments arrived shortly before it was confirmed on Sunday that the Trump administration had withdrawn from the Open Skies Treaty between the two nations. Reports of Trump’s plans to withdraw from the treaty first emerged in spring.
The Trump administration withdrew from another arms treaty with Russia, the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, signed in 1987, in August.