Russian President Vladimir Putin has refused to congratulate comedian Volodymyr Zelensky on his landslide victory in Sunday's presidential election in Ukraine.   

Speaking to journalists Monday afternoon, nearly a day after the comedian romped home with 73 per cent of the vote, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said it was “too early” to talk about a phone call to Kiev. 

Russia would only open the doors of cooperation after judging “concrete actions” of the new president.

“We respect the Ukrainian elections, more so that the verdict was very clear,” he said.  “But the legitimacy of these elections is still under question given that 3.5 million people were unable to vote.”

Mr. Peskov was referring to the estimated populations living in eastern Ukraine’s conflict zone.

In total, nearly 20 million voters took part in Sunday’s vote, with a higher-than-expected turnout at 63 per cent.  International observers have described the elections as the cleanest in Ukraine’s history, with only minor violations recorded.