Officials from Russia’s U.S. embassy in Washington warned Thursday that President Biden’s public criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin had put strained relations between the two nations “under the threat of collapse.”
Anatoly Antonov, Russia’s ambassador to the United States, will return to Moscow on March 20 “to discuss ways to rectify Russia-U.S. ties that are in crisis,” officials said. The embassy said the decision was driven by recent remarks from top US officials, days after President Biden said during a televised interview that he agreed Putin was a “killer.”
“The unconstructive course of the Administration towards our country does not meet the interests of Russia and the United States, while certain ill-considered statements of high-ranking U.S. officials have put the already excessively confrontational relations under the threat of collapse,” the Russian embassy said in a statement.
Biden ripped Putin shortly after Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines’ office that concluded Russia attempted to influence the 2020 presidential election in favor of former President Trump. Top US officials have long accused Russia of election interference.
In his interview with ABC, Biden warned that Putin would “pay a price” for Russia’s actions. He added that the US public would “see shortly” what actions his administration will take against Russia over the alleged election meddling.
When asked if he thought Putin was a killer, Biden said, “I do.”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Thursday that Biden did not regret his remarks.
“Nope. The president gave a direct answer to a direct question,” Psaki said.
Putin responded to Biden’s comments, telling reporters that he wished the president good health. Other top Russian officials were more critical, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov asserting that Biden “doesn’t want to normalize relations.”
The Russian embassy added that “good and pragmatic ties between Russia and the United States meet the aspirations of our countries and the entire international community.”