Many world leaders, including Scott Morrison, were quick to offer their congratulations to Joe Biden on his election win, but there are still some powerful figures who have refused to acknowledge him as the next US president.

Mr Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 election on Saturday by multiple media outlets but President Donald Trump has refused to accept the loss, making wild claims of voter fraud.

As a result, it seems that some leaders are holding off offering their congratulations to Mr Biden until the official result is confirmed by the government.

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Here are some of the world leaders that have remained silent on the outcome of the US election.


When Mr Trump beat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election President Vladimir Putin congratulated him roughly within an hour of his win being announced, but he hasn't been so forthcoming with welcoming Mr Biden into his new role.

The Kremlin released a statement on Monday claiming Mr Putin's silence wasn't the result of any aversion to Mr Biden, saying this election was different due to Mr Trump's legal challenges.

"The difference is quite obvious … then there were no announcements of legal challenges," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

He added that Moscow was ready to work with whoever is declared the winner of the US vote.

"We hope that with the next president of the United States it will be possible to re-establish a dialogue and together agree on ways to normalise our bilateral relations," he said.

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While this statement claims Mr Putin is simply holding off on his congratulations until a formal outcome is announced, experts are concerned there could be an underlying issue.

Russia was accused of interfering in the 2016 election to help get Trump elected, in the hope he would take a softer line with Moscow.

Mr Biden is now expected to take a tougher stand and during the campaign slammed Trump for having "embraced so many autocrats around the world, starting with Vladimir Putin".

"The early signs indicate that Mr Putin is preparing for a deeply adversarial relationship with America's next president," New York Times Moscow correspondent Anton Troianovski predicted.


President Xi Jinping congratulated Mr Trump the day after his election win in 2016, expressing his hopes for a "sound" and "stable" relationship between China and the US.

Since then, the relationship between the US and China has continued to deteriorate, with tensions amplified even more by the COVID-19 pandemic and Mr Trump's criticism of the way China has handled the virus.

It seems that President Jinping is now weary about offering congratulations to Mr Biden.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin made a brief mention of the US election outcome on Monday, saying it had been noticed that Mr Biden has "declared victory".

"We understand that the presidential election result will be determined following US laws and procedures," she said.

Australian National University emeritus professor, Hugh White, told ABC's 7.30 on Monday Mr Biden's presidency could actually see the struggle with China become "more dangerous".

Professor White said China has avoided pushing too many boundaries because they were always unsure about how Donald Trump would react.

"I think Biden, they'll be more confident about how he will react and I think they will be therefore more willing to take risks. I think that does, in some ways, make the next few years more dangerous," he said.


There has been no mention of Mr Biden's election win or any reference to the US presidential race from North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un.

Mr Kim and Mr Trump formed a bizarre friendship over the past four years, with the US president often heaping praise on the North Korean leader.

The pair met on three different occasions throughout Mr Trump's presidency and are believed to have exchanged dozens of letters over the years,

However, despite their friendship, there has still been no concrete steps in convincing the Hermit Kingdom to cut back on its nuclear weapons development.

It is very unlikely that Mr Biden and Mr Kim will be exchanging letters of friendship anytime soon, with the President-elect being a harsh critic of the North Korean leader.

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Last year, Mr Biden labelled Mr Kim a "murderous dog", prompting the leader to refer to Mr Biden as a "rabid dog" who should be "beaten to death with a stick".

On his campaign trail, Mr Biden said he would not meet with Mr Kim, calling him a "thug" and accusing Mr Trump of "emboldening" the North Korean leader.

"He's talked about his good buddy, who's a thug," Mr Biden said of Mr Kim.

"That's like saying we had a good relationship with Hitler before he invaded Europe."


The Turkish president has remained conspicuously silent in the days following the election, with the country's officials saying they would only comment once the results were "official".

"Under a Biden administration, relations between Washington and Ankara will undoubtedly kick off with tension and apprehension on both sides," Asli Aydintasbas of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) wrote.

Turkish officials underscored a little-noticed interview that Biden gave to the New York Times last December.

A bit where he called President Erdogan an "autocrat" went viral in August, drawing vocal condemnation from Ankara.

Biden also suggested the US "embolden" opposition figures to allow them "to take on and defeat Erdogan".

President Erdogan's spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said the remarks showed "pure ignorance, arrogance and hypocrisy".

Turkish officials nonetheless insist they will work with any US administration.

"We put our relations above party politics," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Friday.



Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is an outspoken supporter of Mr Trump and shares so many similarities with the current president that he is often referred to as the "Trump of the Tropics".

With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that he is the among the world leaders who haven't welcomed Mr Biden's win.

Referring to Trump's accusations that the vote was marred by widespread "fraud," Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourao said Bolsonaro was waiting for those allegations to be resolved before offering his congratulations.

"I believe the president is waiting for the end of that whole mess, the argument over whether there were fake votes or not, before he comments," said Mourao.

"Clearly, when the time is right, he will send Brazil's congratulations to whomever is elected," he added, without mentioning Mr Biden by name.

President Bolsonaro was elected in 2018 and openly endorsed Mr Trump's re-election bid.

During a trip to Washington his son, Congressman Eduardo Bolsonaro wore a Trump 2020 hat and just last week questioned the legitimacy of Mr Biden's election votes.




Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is another leader that has held off congratulating Mr Biden, but he has claimed his decision doesn't mean he believes voter fraud was committed.

On Saturday, President Lopez Obrador said he wanted to wait for "all legal issues" to be sorted before contacting the winner of the election.

"Waiting doesn't mean that we're going to endorse (claims) that there was fraud. We don't know that," he said.

"We want to act prudently. Let's wait for the authorities to resolve it. Then we will speak out."

Before coming to power in 2018, Lopez Obrador himself twice alleged he was the victim of vote fraud after losing the 2006 and 2012 presidential races.

- With AFP

Originally published as Why Putin and Xi are ignoring Biden's win