European officials have been trying desperately in recent months to stay out of the chaos surrounding the US presidential election.
“We don’t want anything to do with your shitty choice,” a Kiev official told BuzzFeed News last week, summarizing the sentiments of a fearful continent whose alliance with the US has eroded under President Donald Trump.
But after the president prematurely declared victory just hours after the election was over and made false allegations of mass fraud, some of America’s closest allies could no longer remain silent.
Since some states still have to be officially decided on Wednesday morning, Federal Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer described the US elections as “a very explosive situation” and warned of the possibility of a “constitutional crisis”.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab was a little more optimistic, pressed for patience and said the UK had full confidence in the control and balance of the US electoral process.
“We have to be patient and wait and see who wins the US election,” he tweeted, warning that it “is important that the process be given enough time to reach a conclusion.”
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Not everyone was so reluctant. Alexander Stubb, the former Prime Minister of Finland, called the election a “stress test” for American democracy. “I still want to believe in it [the] Resilience of its democratic institutions but I am concerned about the talk we just heard from @realDonaldTrump, ”he tweeted.
Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first female minister, also tweeted her concern and specifically attended Trump’s party. “Critical hours and days for the integrity of US democracy,” she said. “Let’s hope we hear the voices of Republicans who understand how important this is.”
Right-wing Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa appeared to be the only leader or high-ranking official of the European Union to openly support Trump, whose wife was born in the Central European nation.
“It’s pretty clear that Americans voted @realDonaldTrump @Mike_Pence for # 4moreyears,” he wrote on Twitter, urging the social network to label it misinformation.
In addition to Trump’s attempt to undermine the election result, there were also concerns about what the instability would mean for the stability of Europe.
The “deep polarization” of the USA, tweeted Manfred Weber, a German politician who heads the European People’s Party, the largest group in the European Parliament, should be a “warning” for the EU. “If we lose the ability to compromise, our democracies are in danger,” he wrote.
And some European officials were concerned that the uncertainty surrounding the elections could play into the hands of US opponents, especially Russia, who yearn for a broken EU.
“The champagne corks are popping in Moscow and Beijing,” tweeted Jörg Wojahn, the top official of the European Commission in Germany, possibly referring to the champagne-soaked party hosted by a Russian ultra-nationalist legislature after Trump’s surprise victory in 2016.
Russia appeared to be enjoying a strong early performance from Trump, with a leading state television news show calling the race for him overnight. “Biden is ahead of the game for now, but he has practically no chance,” the newscaster mistakenly told viewers before breaking into a Trump-inspired dance on the air.
However, when the results in key battlefield states painted what looked like Biden’s chances were improving, the tone changed in Moscow.
Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of the Kremlin-controlled TV station RT, let go of her frustration.
“Neither free nor fair,” she tweeted, following a series of tweets filled with false information about the election.
The Kremlin’s preference for Trump is clear, according to US intelligence, and Russian President Vladimir Putin has even publicly admitted that Trump was his preferred candidate in 2016.
However, when the polls before the elections indicated a Biden win, the Russian head of state appeared to be hedging his bets and rejected Trump’s allegations that the Biden family had behaved criminally in Eastern Europe.
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Konstantin Kilimnik, the enigmatic Ukrainian-Russian politician charged by the office of former Special Envoy Robert Mueller with conspiracy to obstruct the judiciary and justice by the FBI, who said he had “connections to the Russian language” secret service “- tried a Biden -Playing the presidency as something the Kremlin would actually embrace.
The reason? Top officials in Moscow, such as the Kremlin’s first deputy chief of staff Sergey Kiriyenko, “know top people in the Dem[ocratic] Party just fine and they think they can make it into the Biden administration, ”Kilimnik told BuzzFeed News via WhatsApp.
In addition, the Russian political elite is “ready to go [back] to business as usual ”and“ they think Biden is the guy who can handle it, ”he said.
However, Biden has cited Russia as the biggest threat to US national security and has suggested that Moscow be tough on Moscow than Trump.