Vladimir Putin claimed victory in the Russian presidential election, but the United States State Department did not congratulate him, seeming hesitant even to acknowledge Putin as the winner due to widespread suspicion that he cheated.
"The United States congratulates the Russian people on the completion of the Presidential elections, and looks forward to working with the President-elect after the results are certified and he is sworn in," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said in a statement.
With the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) saying the elections were "clearly skewed," the United States called for an investigation into Putin's victory. "The United States endorses the preliminary report of the observer mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), and welcomes the many other assessments of the Russian presidential election by Russian election monitors," Nuland said. "We urge the Russian Government to conduct an independent, credible investigation of all reported electoral violations."