MOSCOW – The morning after Joseph R. Biden Jr became the elected president of the United States, the Kremlin announced a congratulatory message from President Vladimir V. Putin.
That is the 60th birthday congratulation to a theater director in Moscow.
Unlike his Western European counterparts, who quickly posted congratulations on Saturday, Putin did not issue a statement about the president’s election even as night fell in Moscow on Sunday. Four years earlier, the Kremlin rushed to deliver a message to President Trump within hours after American television networks called for a race on election night.
“Putin is a good soldier and doesn’t wag his tail at his enemies,” said prominent Kremlin analyst Sergei A. Markov, explaining the difference.
Early signs suggest that Putin is preparing for a deeply rival relationship with the next US president. While Trump never offered Russia’s hope for a cooperative relationship between Washington and Moscow, his American foreign policy has combined with the Kremlin’s desire to undermine the alliance. Western and expanding Russian influence around the world.
Biden, by contrast, is an elected president that Putin has many reasons to fear. Mr. Biden sees Russia as one of the biggest US security threats, promises to rebuild fragmented relations with European allies and as vice president has worked hard to support pro-Western politicians in Ukraine, which is at war with Russia.
As for Russia’s leadership class, Biden, 77, is the preferred candidate for a “deep country” of America – a huge network of spies and diplomats, according to the Kremlin. has undermined Mr. Trump and his efforts to improve relations with Russia. And Mr. Biden, unlike Mr. Trump, to many Russians seems to be the type of American politician they hate most: one who is willing to intervene around the world in the name of the democratic ideal, instead of respecting criminals. to influence and stick with Moscow. in difficult conversations.
“You’ve got it, the infamous deep state that Trump has promised to remove,” said Mikhail V. Leontyev, a commentator, gazing at Saturday’s key time news in Russia, describing Mr. Biden. . “We wouldn’t question this if these people didn’t try to get involved in all of our business, and the winner could have made it his mission to get involved. business activities of the world. “
As nations have swirled their votes in recent days, Russian state television increasingly accepts Trump’s assertion that Democrats stole the election. A reporter in Washington for Russia’s state-run Channel 1 mocked Mr. Biden’s victory celebrations in the streets as those of people “crying, jumping around, and getting drunk” in a news show On Sunday evening, host Dmitri Kiselyov said the election showed the United States “not a nation but a giant, chaotic condominium, with the delicacy of crime”.
Important news on television controlled by the Kremlin, and the lack of a quick congratulation to Mr. Biden, notably Putin seems to be trying to distance Mr. Trump as Mr. Biden becomes. is clearly loved in recent months. Some Russian analysts and politicians have even speculated that the new leadership in Washington could be a good thing for Moscow.
Tatiana Stanovaya, a political commentator, wrote in an essay titled “Farewell to Trump?” “Fewer and fewer people in the Russian elite see Trump as his own goal. She added that “there is a feeling Trump is tired too,” even within the Kremlin.
In fact, Putin chose this fall not to bring Trump what should have been a prized foreign policy victory: a renegotiated New Start nuclear weapons deal. The last major arms control agreement remains between countries.
Mr. Trump’s main negotiator, Marshall Billingslea, has gone so far as to announce that the two leaders have had a “gentleman’s agreement” for a renegotiation. agree. Within hours, however, the Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei A. Ryabkov, called the Trump administration an illusion. “Washington is describing what is desired, not what is real,” he said.
Instead, in a televised interview last month, Putin praised Mr. Biden for being ready to extend the treaty. And in what could be a winged compliment, he praised Democrats for sharing the leftist ideology with a party in which Putin used to be: the Communists.
“We will work with any future president of the United States – whom the American people vote with confidence,” Putin said.
Earlier this year, the CIA said Putin intervened on behalf of Trump in the election. The Kremlin has denied meddling in US politics and many analysts in Moscow noted that no new, well-grounded allegations of Russian interference have emerged from the United States since Election Day.
Some politicians and analysts say the notion that Trump’s departure from the White House could lessen American anger over Russian meddling in the 2016 election appears to be a big silver pad. for the victory of Mr. Biden.
Konstantin Kosachev, head of the Foreign Relations Committee in the Russian Senate, wrote on Facebook: “It is not that we believe in sanity in Washington, but the key actor may disappear. “For example, isn’t that a reason to resume arms control negotiations? We are definitely ready ”.
Mr. Biden could also benefit Russia by reverting the US to a nuclear deal with Iran, one to which Moscow is a party, another Russian lawmaker, Leonid E. Slutsky, said. In 2018, Mr. Trump withdrew the United States from an agreement that President Barack Obama helped to broker among the world’s great powers to block Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
Even as the Kremlin stayed with his mother on Sunday, Putin’s most loyal domestic rival – opposition leader Aleksei A. Navalny – sent his best wishes on Twitter to Mr. Biden and Kamala Harris, deputy President-elect. He also congratulated the Americans for holding “a free and fair election”, an indirect statement to the Putin government.
Mr. Navalny, who is recovering from a nerve agent attack in Siberia, wrote: “This is a privilege that not all countries have. “Looking forward to a new level of cooperation between Russia and the US”.
The Kremlin and its supporters have long stated, without evidence, that opposition activists like Mr. Navalny are the tools for America’s “deep state” to carry out its anti-Russia agenda. me. The Russian media often say that the United States created a “color revolution” all over the former Soviet Union.
Markov, a pro-Kremlin analyst, said he expected Biden to step up support for Putin’s domestic rivals – perhaps heralding a message from Russian state media during his presidency. by Mr. Biden.
“The financial resources for a black revolution against Putin, I believe, will increase dramatically,” said Markov.
Putin portrays himself as a defender of Russia against an invading West. Sam Greene, director of the Russian Institute at King’s College London, said a tougher Russian policy toward the United States could be in his favor.
“Conflict with the West and the United States in particular is an important part of Putin’s legitimacy,” said Greene.