US President Joe Biden on Wednesday described Russian President Vladimir Putin as a killer and said he would pay a price for meddling in US Presidential elections, prompting the first major diplomatic crisis for the new American President. After Biden’s comments on Putin, Russia called its US ambassador back to Moscow for consultations.
In an interview with ABC News, Biden was asked about a US intelligence report that the Russian President tried to harm his candidature in the November 2020 US Presidential elections and promote that of Donald Trump.
Replying to which, the 78-year-old Biden said he will pay the price.
Biden was also asked if he thought the opposition leader Alexie Navalny and other rivals in Russia were poisoned on the order of Putin and that he is a killer, the US President said he does believe Putin is a killer.
The comments were aired as the US Commerce Department announced it was toughening export restrictions imposed on Russia as punishment for Navalny’s poisoning.
Russia responded by summoning its envoy home, but stressed that it wanted to prevent an irreversible deterioration in relations.
Responding to Biden’s remarks, Russia summoned its envoy home but stressed that it wanted to prevent irreversible deterioration in diplomatic ties.
The Russian foreign ministry, in a statement, said the Russian ambassador in Washington, Anatoly Antonov, has been invited to come to Moscow for consultations conducted with the aim of analyzing what should be done and where to go in the context of ties with the United States.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told RIA Novosti that responsibility for further deterioration of Russian-American ties fully rests with the United States.
The State Department in Washington noted the Russian move and said the US will remain clear-eyed about the challenges that Russia poses.
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki was asked by reporters whether the president considers Putin literally or just metaphorically a killer. To which Psaki said he does not hold back his concerns considering all the problematic actions including meddling in elections, Navalny’s poisoning, cyberattacks and bounties on US troops in Afghanistan.
He’s not going to hold back in his direct communications, nor is he going to hold back publicly, she added.