Russia PM Vladimir Putin thanks Fifa for World Cup vote
He said it had been a "difficult decision" not to come for the result earlier in the day.
He did so out of respect for Fifa members who, he said, had been under unacceptable and unjustified pressure.
A recent investigation by the BBC's Panorama programme, which was broadcast on Monday, accused three executive committee members of accepting payments and alleged Fifa vice-president Jack Warner attempted to supply ticket touts.
Russia was selected as 2018 host ahead of co-bidders Spain-Portugal, Holland-Belgium and England. Qatar won the 2022 bid.