MOSCOW (AP) – President Vladimir Putin on Thursday responded to US President Biden’s description of Russia’s leader as a murderer, citing America’s past and present, from slavery to the slaughter of Native Americans to racial injustice.
In an interview with Biden this week, he was asked if he thought Putin was a murderer. “I do,” which meant calling Russia to recall its ambassador to Washington for consultations and warning of further retaliation.
Biden has taken a hard line on Russia, saying that the days of the US “reversal” are over for Putin, contrasting his style with that of former President Donald Trump, who avoided direct confrontation and often spoke in favor of Putin.
Asked about Biden’s comments on the rhyme during the 2014 anniversary of the annexation of Russia, Putin said in response to a “one-to-one” remark that his partner’s words reflected the United States. ‘own problems. At the same time, he offered to have a telephone conversation with Biden to discuss issues of mutual interest.
White House spokesman En Psaki said on Thursday that Biden would continue to work with Putin on areas of mutual interest, such as efforts to halt Iran’s nuclear program and, more broadly, non-proliferation. But he said Biden was “not going to hold back” when he was concerned about Putin’s actions.
Psaki added that Biden did not regret considering Putin a murderer and was pushing back from suggestions that rhetoric was useless.
“President Biden has known Putin for a long time,” Psaki said. “They have both been on the world stage for a long time, working through many repetitions of US-Russian relations. And he believes we can continue to do that. “
He also denied the allegations in a statement issued Friday stating “Similar, baseless allegations concerning Putin have been made more than once.
“The president believes that one of the greatest qualities of the United States is our honest self-determination, our constant pursuit of progress, there is always more work to be done,” he said.
In his speech, Putin referred to the US atomic bombing of Japan during World War II, Japan, as well as the history of slavery and the massacre of Native Americans, noting the legacy of the United States.
“Otherwise, where did the SJ lives come from?” he said, referring to racial injustice and the killing of African Americans.
The exchange of harsh statements follows a declassified report by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, according to which Putin allowed influence to try to help Trump in his failed bid for re-election in November. The Kremlin rejected the report as unfounded.
“(Putin) will pay the price,” Biden said in an interview, asking about the declassified report.
The Biden administration has warned that Russia will soon face sanctions for trying to influence last year’s US election because of huge solar wind hackers.
The sharp tension in US-Russia relations reached a point where they were at the end of President Barack Obama’s administration, a cold tension that differed significantly from Trump’s efforts to address Putin.
Asked what he would say to Biden in response to his words, Putin answered: “I would say to him, ‘Be well.’ I wish him good health, I say it without irony or jokes. “
Remembering his youth, Putin said that he and his friends would respond to the insults with irony. “The names you say are what you are.” Russian version of childhood disgrace. “I am rubber, you are glue. What you say jumps from me, it stays with you. “
“It is not just a rhyming children’s joke. it has a deep psychological meaning. “We see our own qualities in another person, we think he is like us, we judge him accordingly,” he added.
He noted that Russia will continue to cooperate with the United States, where it supports the interests of Moscow, adding that “very honest and decent people in the United States want peace and friendship with Russia.”
“I know that the United States and its leadership tend to have some relations with us, but only on issues that interest the United States and its terms,” Putin said. “But we know how to defend our own interests, we will work with them only in the areas we are interested in, in conditions that we consider beneficial for ourselves. And they will have to take that into account. “
Speaking separately, Putin said on Thursday that he would ask the Foreign Ministry to call Biden in the next few days to discuss the coronavirus epidemic, regional conflicts and other issues.
“I would not delay it for long, I would like to take a quick break in the taiga over the weekend, so we can do it tomorrow or Monday,” Putin said in a televised speech, without specifying where he plans to visit Siberia.
“We must continue our relationship,” he said. “The last time President Biden called, I would like to urge President Biden to continue our discussions. “It will be in the interests of both Russia and the United States and other countries, given that we, as the largest international powers, have a special responsibility for global security.”
Other Russian officials and lawmakers were less diplomatic.
Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy head of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, who chaired the presidency from 2008 to 2012, when Putin was forced to step down as prime minister, said he “did not spare” Biden, 78, “Sigmund Freud was quoted as saying. “Nothing in life is worth as much as sickness and stupidity.”
And Andrei Turchak, the leader of the pro-Kremlin United Russia party, described Biden’s remarks as “a reflection of the political madness of the United States and its leader.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov lamented what he called “very bad remarks by the US president,” saying “there is no such thing in history.”
Konstantin Kosachev, the vice-speaker of the upper house of the Russian parliament, said Biden’s “mocking statement” was a sign of Washington’s relationship with Moscow, warning that Russia’s response would not be limited to recalling its ambassador “unless the US can offer an explanation.”
Russia’s relations with the United States and the European Union have already reached the lowest level of post-Cold War, with Ukraine seizing the Crimean peninsula, interfering in elections, hacking attacks, and the recent imprisonment of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, which led to his poisoning. On the Kremlin. Russian authorities have denied the allegations.
Responding to Biden’s remarks on Putin, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that Berlin “expects a clear language in Washington towards Russia”, but stressed that “dialogue and agreement is needed” on issues such as climate change and disarmament. Biden quickly extended a new START arms control treaty with Russia.
The authors of the Associated Press, Aamer Madhani in Washington Գ and Gir Mawlson in Berlin, contributed.