Wednesday, 05 May, 2021


'Takes one to know one': Putin mocks Biden over 'killer' comment

Russia recalls ambassador to U.S. after Biden calls Putin 'killer' Biden calls Putin 'a killer' and says will pay a price
Conrad Doyle | 19 March, 2021, 04:10

Russia announced that they are recalling their ambassador to the United States, in the aftermath of comments by US President Joe Biden on reports of Russian interference in elections.

In a highly unusual move following Biden's interview, Russian Federation on Wednesday said it was recalling its ambassador to the United States for urgent consultations over the future of U.S. -Russia ties.

In an interview with ABC News yesterday, when asked if he thought Putin, who has been accused of ordering the poisoning of opposition figure Alexei Navalny, is "a killer", Biden said: "I do".

US President Biden's comments sparked the biggest crisis between Russian Federation and the United States in years, with Moscow recalling its ambassador for consultations and warning that ties were on the brink of outright "collapse".

In his comments, Mr Biden also described Mr Putin as having no soul and said he would pay a price for alleged Russian meddling in the November 2020 U.S. presidential election, something the Kremlin denies.

Russian Federation recalled its ambassador to the United States in response to the remark.

Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov deplored what he called "very bad remarks by the USA president" that made it clear that "he doesn't want to normalize relations".

Putin, responding to Biden's characterisation of him, said he knew the USA leader personally, and, in an apparent reference to Biden's age (78), said he sincerely wished him good health.

When Biden, as Vice President to Barack Obama, met Putin in 2011, the moment signalled a "reset" of relations and even visa-free travel was on the agenda.

"Putin's initial reaction showed there is no desire to go along the path of escalation", said the leader of the Russian International Affairs Council, Andrey Kortunov.

"No, the president gave a direct answer to a direct question", Press Secretary Jen Psaki said when asked by reporters whether there was any regret over Biden's comment.

Moscow then took the unusual move of temporarily recalling its ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, in what's believed to be the first such instance in more than 20 years.

Kosachev warned that Russia's response wouldn't be limited to recalling the Russian ambassador "if the American side fails to offer explanation and excuse".

"Mmm hmm, I do", Biden responded.

"(Putin) will pay a price", Mr Biden said when asked about the declassified report. "I'm saying this without irony, not as a joke".

"These statements from the president of the United States are very bad".

He also pointed out that people usually project onto others what they think about themselves.

"Certain ill-considered statements of high-ranking U.S. officials have put the already excessively confrontational relations under the threat of collapse", it said.

"We must continue our relations", he noted.

While announcing the decision to recall the Russian ambassador in Washington, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova blamed the United States for bringing bilateral ties to a "dead end", adding that "we are interested in preventing their irreversible degradation, if the Americans are aware of the associated risks".

The reaction to Biden's comments highlighted the tense relations between Russia and the USA that appear likely only to worsen in the coming weeks as the Biden administration looks set to respond over a variety of alleged Russian misdeeds.

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