Putin points to US after Biden ‘killer’ remark

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MOSCOW (AP) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that US President Joe Biden’s remarks about him reflected America’s past and current problems.

Biden was asked in an interview if he thinks Russian President Vladimir Putin is a killer and said, “I think so.” Russia announced on Wednesday that it was recalling its ambassador to Washington for consultations.

Asked about Biden’s remarks during a video call with Crimean residents marking the anniversary of his annexation to Ukraine in 2014, Putin accused that they reflect America’s troubled past.

The Russian leader pointed to America’s past history of massacre of Native Americans and slavery, saying the painful legacy has weighed on the United States.

“Otherwise, where would the Black Lives Matter movement come from,” he said.

See: “Unfounded”: Russia reacts to US intelligence assessment on interference in 2020 elections

He added that Russia will continue to cooperate with the United States where it responds to Moscow’s interests.

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov lamented what he called “very bad remarks by the American president” which made it clear that “he does not want to normalize relations”.

“We will proceed accordingly,” Peskov said on a conference call with reporters, noting that “there was nothing like it in history.” He would not respond if Russia could go so far as to sever diplomatic relations with the United States.

Konstantin Kosachev, deputy speaker of the upper house of the Russian parliament, said Biden’s “crass statement” marked a turning point.

“Such assessments are inadmissible for a statesman of his rank,” Kosachev said. “Such statements are unacceptable under all circumstances. They inevitably lead to a sharp exacerbation of our bilateral relations. “

Kosachev warned that Russia’s response would not be limited to recalling the Russian ambassador “if the American side fails to provide an explanation and an apology.” He declined to detail what other steps the Kremlin might take.

While announcing the decision to recall the Russian ambassador to Washington, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova criticized the United States for putting bilateral relations in a “dead end”, adding that “We are interested in preventing their irreversible degradation, if Americans are aware of the associated risks.

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Commenting on the Russian decision on Wednesday, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki stressed that “we will be direct, we will talk about areas where we have concerns, and it certainly will be, as the president said last night. – certainly, the Russians will be held responsible for the measures they have taken.

The exchange of harsh statements follows a declassified report from the office of the director of US national intelligence which reveals that President Vladimir Putin authorized influence operations to aid Donald Trump in the presidential election last November.

“[Putin] will pay a price, ”Biden said in the interview, when asked about the declassified report.

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Russia’s relations with the United States and the European Union have already fallen to an all-time low after the Cold War following Moscow’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in 2014, election interference, hacking attacks and, more recently, the imprisonment of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, which followed his poisoning which he blamed on the Kremlin. Russian authorities have dismissed the charges.

Read on: Russian opposition leader Navalny calls prison near Moscow a “friendly concentration camp”

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