Rivals call presidential poll a “farce” with Medvedev’s win apparently certain.
Nicolas Sarkozy, France’s president, offered his congratulations in a phone call to Medvedev and invited him to visit “as soon as he wishes”.
However, Bernard Kouchner, France’s foreign minister, was less than effusive about the result.
Kouchner said: “I know there was no real competition in this election. The election was conducted Russian-style, with a victory known in advance.”
Kouchner said Medvedev was elected with “very surprising figures, not quite worthy of Stalin, but 70 per cent is not bad”.
Gordon Brown, the British prime minister, sent his congratulations but his spokesman stressed that London would “judge the new government on its actions and the results of those actions”.
Gordon Johndroe, US national security spokesman, said George Bush, the US president, “looks forward” to working with the new Russian leader, but withheld comment on the conduct of the election.
“I’ll leave that to the election observers,” Johndroe said.
Andreas Gross, the head of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, a Western election monitoring group, said that the democratic potential of Russia has been “unfulfilled”.
Gross said on Monday that presidential candidates had lacked equal access to the media, “putting into question the fairness of the election”.
Many activists and ordinary Russians claim workers were pressed by bosses to vote and that some have been ordered to turn in absentee ballots, presumably so that someone else could vote in their stead.
The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), refused to send observers, saying the Russian authorities were imposing such tight restrictions that they could not work in a meaningful way.
The Central Election Commission said turnout on Sunday was 67.7 per cent.