The morning after Joseph R. Biden Jr. became president-elect of the United States, the Kremlin published a congratulatory message from President Vladimir V. Putin.
It was a happy-60th-birthday greeting to a Moscow theater director.
Unlike his Western European counterparts, who quickly posted congratulations on Saturday, Mr. Putin had not issued a statement on the president-elect even as night fell in Moscow on Sunday. Four years earlier, the Kremlin rushed out a message for President Trump within hours of the American television networks calling the race on election night.
Given the result hasn’t been officially declared yet, and is still contested by the sitting president, wouldn’t any intervention by Putin, at this point, amount to ‘Russian meddling’ in the US election?
Tbf, Michael you’ve just spent 4 years warning about the dangers of this. https://t.co/5AvkcJRzEh
— Bryan MacDonald (@27khv) November 8, 2020
“Putin is a good soldier and does not wag his tail before his enemies,” a prominent pro-Kremlin analyst, Sergei A. Markov, said in explaining the difference. Joe Biden Unauthorized... Best Price: $13.70 Buy New $14.49 (as of 06:03 EDT - Details)
The early signs indicate that Mr. Putin is preparing for a deeply adversarial relationship with America’s next president. [The “early sign” being he draws the line at actively participating in the regime coup against the possibility of Trump.] While Mr. Trump never delivered on Russian hopes of rapprochement between Washington and Moscow, his America-first foreign policy dovetailed with the Kremlin’s desire to weaken the Western alliance and to expand Russian influence around the world.
Mr. Biden, by contrast, is a president-elect whom Mr. Putin already has many reasons to dread. Mr. Biden sees Russia as one of America’s biggest security threats, promises to rebuild frayed ties with European allies and, as vice president, worked actively to support pro-Western politicians in Ukraine [that’s one way to put it], a country at war with Russia.
To Russia’s governing class, the 77-year-old Mr. Biden was the preferred candidate of an American “deep state” — a huge network of spies and diplomats that, in the Kremlin’s telling, worked to undermine Mr. Trump and his efforts to improve ties with Russia. And Mr. Biden, unlike Mr. Trump, seems to many Russians to be the sort of American politician they detest the most: someone ready to meddle around the world in the name of democratic ideals, rather than respecting spheres of influence and engaging with Moscow in hard-nosed talks. Fallout: Nuclear Bribe... Buy New $25.20 (as of 04:53 EDT - Details)
“There you have it, the notorious deep state that Trump had promised to get rid of,” Mikhail V. Leontyev, a commentator, intoned on the prime-time news in Russia on Saturday, describing Mr. Biden. “We wouldn’t give a toss about this if these guys didn’t try to get involved in all our business, and the probable winner has made it his mission to get involved in all the world’s business.”
As swing states counted votes in recent days, Russian state television increasingly adopted Mr. Trump’s assertion that the Democrats had stolen the election. A reporter in Washington for Russia’s state-run Channel 1 ridiculed the street celebrations of Mr. Biden’s victory as those of people “crying, hopping around and getting drunk.” On a Sunday-night news show, the host Dmitri Kiselyov said the election showed the United States to be “not a country but a huge, chaotic communal apartment, with a criminal flair.”