Russia summons ambassador for talks in Moscow after President Biden called his Kremlin counterpart a “ killer. ”
Russia announced on Wednesday that it would recall its ambassador to the United States for consultations, the latest sign of growing tensions between Moscow and Washington.
The decision to bring Anatoly Antonov to Moscow was announced shortly after US President Joe Biden accused his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin of being a “killer” and warned that he would “pay a price” for an alleged electoral interference.
Biden’s comments came as a declassified U.S. intelligence report linked Putin to influence operations to aid Donald Trump in last November’s presidential election.
Russia denies long-standing allegations of interference as baseless.
The Russian Embassy in Washington said in a statement that Antonov would leave the United States on Saturday and discuss “ways to rectify Russian-American relations, which are in crisis” upon his arrival in Moscow.
He added that “some thoughtless statements by senior US officials have put the already excessively divisive relations under threat of collapse.”
In a separate statement on Wednesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said: “The bottom line for us is to determine the means by which the difficult Russian-American relations that Washington has driven to a standstill in recent years could be rectified.
“We want to prevent their irreversible degradation if the Americans recognize the risks involved.”
Biden calls Putin a ‘killer’
Moscow’s ties to the West, which are already languishing at post-Cold War lows since 2014, have come under further pressure following the imprisonment of Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny.
The Western powers demanded the release of Navalny, calls rejected by Russia as unacceptable interference in its internal affairs.
In an ABC News interview that aired Wednesday, Biden said “you’ll see soon” when asked what the consequences of his alleged behavior would be.
He also described Putin as having no soul.
When asked if he thought the Russian leader, who has been accused of ordering the poisoning of Navalny and other rivals, is a “killer,” Biden replied, “Yes.”
His comments came as the US Department of Commerce tightened sanctions on some exports to Russia as punishment for the suspected poisoning of Navalny in August last year.
The department said the move would tighten restrictions originally put in place in response to the poisoning in March 2018 of former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, England, with a quality nerve agent. military.
Moscow has denied any role in both cases.