Russian President Vladimir Putin will not officially congratulate Ukrainian president-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy on his landslide victory, the Kremlin said on Monday.
Ukraine has entered uncharted political waters after near final results show Zelenskiy, a comedian, winning Sunday’s presidential election by a landslide, dramatically upending the political status quo in the ex-Soviet republic.
It’s “too early” to talk about congratulating Zelenskiy or to comment on potential cooperation with Ukraine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying by Interfax, and Russia would judge the president-elect by his deeds.
Peskov added that while Russia respects Ukraine’s election, it had yet to accept the election’s legitimacy due to Ukraine barring its citizens living in Russia from voting.
“We respect the Ukrainian elections, moreso that the verdict was very clear,” he said. “But the legitimacy of these elections is still under some question given that 3.5 million people were unable to vote.”
Reuters contributed reporting to this article.