Russian president Vladimir Putin congratulates Joe Biden on winning US election

Russian president Vladimir Putin has congratulated Joe Biden on winning the US presidential election after weeks of holding out.

Mr Putin's message to Mr Biden came a day after the Electoral College confirmed Mr Biden as the nation's next president, ratifying his November victory in an authoritative state-by-state repudiation of President Donald Trump's refusal to concede that he had lost.

The Kremlin had said earlier that the Russian president would hold off on congratulating Mr Biden until the winner was officially confirmed.

"We are just waiting for the end of the internal political confrontation," Mr Putin said last month, referring to numerous Republican challenges to the vote count.

In his message, Mr Putin wished Mr Biden "every success", according to a Kremlin statement on Tuesday, and expressed confidence that "Russia and the US, which bear special responsibility for global security and stability can, despite the differences, really contribute to solving many problems and challenges that the world is currently facing".

The Russian president noted that "the Russian-American cooperation based on the principles of equality and mutual respect would meet the interests of the people in both countries and the entire international community".

"For my part, I am ready for interaction and contact with you," Mr Putin was quoted by the Kremlin as saying.