Joe Biden has said it is “time to turn the page” after his presidential election victory was confirmed by the US electoral college.
In a speech after the announcement, Biden said US democracy had been “pushed, tested and threatened” and “proved to be resilient, true and strong”.
He condemned President Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn the result.
Later Russian President Vladimir Putin became one of the last world leaders to congratulate Biden on his victory.
Moscow has said it would wait for the official results before doing so. Most other national leaders contacted Biden days after the vote on 3 November.
Speaking in Delaware, Biden praised “ordinary women and men” who had refused to be bullied, referring to the president’s efforts to the question and overturn the results, involving legal challenges which have been rejected by courts across the country.
Biden described the efforts as “a position so extreme we’ve never seen it before”.
“Respecting the will of the people is at the heart of our democracy, even when we find those results hard to accept,” he said.
“The flame of democracy was lit in this nation a long time ago,” he added. “And we know that nothing not even a pandemic or an abuse of power can extinguish that flame.”
Biden added that it was time to “turn the page, as we’ve done throughout our history, to unite, to heal”.