Vladimir Putin still refuses to accept Donald Trump US election defeat

Vladimir Putin is still refusing to accept his pal Donald Trump's US election defeat.

Almost three weeks after the election, the Russian president has still not recognised the victory of president-elect Joe Biden.

Mr Biden has congratulated by the leaders of many countries despite Mr Trump's refusal to concede defeat amid his claims of electoral and voter fraud.

But Mr Putin still believes it is too early to offer a message of congratulations as he is still waiting for the sitting president to concede or the vote counting to finish.

He told Russian state TV: "We will work with anyone who has the confidence of the American public."

"But that confidence can only be given to a candidate whose victory has been recognised by the opposing party, or after the results are confirmed in a legitimate, legal way."

Mr Putin insists that the decision to not congratulate Mr Biden yet is "a formality" with no ulterior motives.

When Mr Trump won the 2016 election, the Russian leader was prompt in offering congratulations but the challenger, Hillary Clinton, also conceded the day after the vote.

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Just days after the election was called in Mr Biden's favour, Mr Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that this election is different.

A few other world leaders are yet to congratulate the president-elect, including Chinese president Xi Jingping and Mr Trump's pal Kim Jong-un, the North Korean dictator.

China's foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said: "We noticed that Mr Biden has declared election victory.

"We understand that the US presidential election will be determined following US law and procedures."

Mr Trump has made a number of electoral fraud claims since losing the vote, none of which have been proven.

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