President Biden has not been off to a great start with foreign leaders. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has mocked Biden as the “migrant president,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has expressed “disappointment” in Joe Biden over his decision to cancel the Keystone XL oil pipeline, and now Russian President Vladimir Putin has lashed out at Biden over publicly attacking and threatening his Russian counterpart as a “killer.”
In a recent ABC’s “Good Morning America” interview with host George Stephanopoulos, President Biden was asked about alleged interference with Russians meddling in the U.S election. Tensions arose between the two nations after a U.S intelligence report revealed suspected attempts to interfere in the 2020 election.
The report reveals that a range of Russian government organizations attempted to “influence operations” and derail President Biden’s candidacy, as well as include misleading or unsubstantiated allegations against Biden to U.S media organizations. The report adds that there were no “persistent efforts” to access election infrastructure, such as voting machines.
“He will pay a price. We had a long talk, he and I. I know him relatively well. And the conversation started off and I said, ‘I know you and you know me. If I establish this occurred, then be prepared,’” Biden said.
Stephanopoulos then asked Biden if he thought Putin was “a killer,” in which he replied, “Mmm hmm, I do.” The comments were aired on Russian state TV, in which Putin demanded that Biden apologize for his “killer” remark and recalled its Moscow ambassador to Washington, DC, in retaliation. He added that he wishes Biden good health “without any irony or joke.”
“I remember in my childhood, when we argued in the courtyard, we used to say: It takes one to know one. And that’s not a coincidence, not just a children’s saying or joke. We always see our own traits in other people and think they are like how we really are. And as a result, we assess (a person’s) activities and give assessments,” Putin responded.
Dmitri Peskov, a Putin spokesperson, also called Biden’s comments “very bad” and noted that the Biden Administration clearly does not want to improve relations with their country. State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin also said Biden’s words were a clear attack on Russia and its citizens. Head of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Konstantin I. Kosachev, also warned that Russia would take “additional action” if the explanations and apologies do not follow from the American side, calling Biden’s comments unacceptable.
“This kind of assessment is not allowed from the mouth of a statesman of such rank. This kind of statement is not acceptable under any circumstances,” Kosachev adds.
Reporters asked White House press secretary Jen Psaki about Russia “facing consequences” over its political interference efforts throughout 2020, in which she replied that their administration would be taking a “different approach” to their relationship with Russia than the previous administration.
The Russian Space Agency also recently signed an agreement with the Chinese National Space Administration to create an International Scientific Lunar Station, one of the most dramatic signs of growing separation with the United States after a quarter-century of US-Russian space cooperation.
So much for ‘unity.’