Russia’s Putin, Brazil’s Bolsonaro, Mexico’s Lopez Obrador congratulate Biden on election victory

Bolsonaro (centre) had voiced concerns about widespread fraud in the November US vote. PHOTO: REUTERS

MOSCOW/BRASÍLIA (AFP) - Russian President Vladimir Putin, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Tuesday (Dec 15) congratulated US president-elect Joe Biden on his victory, more than a month after the Nov 3 election.

Mr Putin said he hoped Russia and the US could set aside their differences to promote global security.

Mr Putin wished Mr Biden every success and said that, "for my part, I am ready for collaboration and contacts with you," according to a Kremlin statement.

Mr Bolsonara, quoting the final line of the US national anthem, said: "My congratulations to Joe Biden, with my best wishes and the hope that the United States continues to be the 'land of the free and the home of the brave'."

"I will be prepared to work with your excellence and to continue to build a Brazil-United States alliance, in defence of sovereignty, democracy and freedom throughout the world," said Mr Bolsonaro, a staunch ally of outgoing President Donald Trump.

Mexico's leader Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who has nurtured a cordial relationship with Mr Trump, also congratulated Mr Biden on Tuesday.

"I express my appreciation for his stance on Mexican migrants around the world, which will ... promote the development of communities in southeastern Mexico and Central America," said Mr Lopez Obrador.

The three are the last remaining leaders of major world countries to have held back on congratulating Mr Biden, who was confirmed as the next US president by the Electoral College on Monday.

Officials in Moscow, including the country's elections chief and foreign minister, had earlier criticised the US elections process, describing it as archaic and not representative of the will of the people.

In his congratulatory telegram to Mr Biden, Mr Putin said that their countries "bear special responsibility for global security and stability".

He said he was confident that Russia and the United States could, "despite their differences, really contribute to solving many problems and challenges that the world is currently facing."

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

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

Mr Bolsonaro, who is often called as the "Tropical Trump", had previously avoided mentioning the US election, and his Vice-President Hamilton Mourao said last month he would congratulate "whomever is elected" when "the time is right".

Mr Bolsonaro had clashed with Mr Biden during the US election campaign after the Democratic president-elect criticised Brazil over its failure to protect the Amazon rainforest from wildfires.

The Brazil leader fired back that the statement was "disastrous and unnecessary."

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