US Vice President Joe Biden, in his last major speech before leaving office, has described Russia as the biggest threat to the international liberal order and said Moscow would try to influence looming elections in Europe as it is accused of doing in the United States.

"Under President Putin, Russia is working with every tool available to them to whittle away at the edges of the European project, test the fault lines of western nations and return to a politics defined by spheres of influence," Mr Biden told the World Economic Forum in Davos.

"With many countries in Europe slated to hold elections this year, we should expect further attempts by Russia to meddle in the democratic process.

"It will occur again, I promise you. And again the purpose is clear: to collapse the liberal international order," Mr Biden said.

"We even saw it in the cyber intrusions against political parties and individuals in the United States," he said, in a direct reference to a US intelligence report that Russia worked to tip the US election to Donald Trump.

Mr Biden's words were also a direct warning to Mr Trump, who has made mending ties with Russia a priority.

"Again, their purpose is clear, to collapse the liberal international order," Mr Biden said.

The vice president gave his vigorous defence of the liberal order a day after China's President Xi Jinping gave the keynote speech at Davos that stressed his commitment to globalisation, also in contradiction to expected Mr Trump policies.

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