In an on-air conversation, Russian President Vladimir Putin challenged President Biden to discuss Biden’s latest warning that Putin would “pay the price” after a report containing evidence of attempted Russian-interference in last year’s election.
On Thursday, Putin told a reporter in Moscow, “I’ve just thought of this now.” He continues, “I want to invite President Biden to continue our discussion, but on the condition that we do it actually live. But with no delays, directly in an open, direct discussion.”
— ABC News (@ABC) March 18, 2021
Putin also added that as the world’s two leading superpowers, he thought the conversation would prove interesting for the U.S. and Russian people and the international community.
Meanwhile, during the press briefing in the White House last Thursday, press secretary Jen Psaki was asked about the Russian President’s requests, “I don’t have anything to report to you in terms of a future meeting,” Psaki continued, “The president will, of course, be in Georgia tomorrow and quite busy.”
This week, Biden made headlines again after an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos when Biden was asked if he thought Putin was a “killer, to which Biden answered, “I do.”
A declassified report that was released last Tuesday by the United States Office of the Director of National Intelligence found that although there are no foreign powers that “manipulated any election results,” Russia allegedly sought to influence public opinion in opposition of Biden.
Biden then threatened the Russian President stating, “The price he is going to pay, well, you’ll see shortly.”
— Reuters (@Reuters) March 18, 2021
Then on Thursday, Putin responded by saying, “It takes one to know one.”
Following Biden’s remarks, Russia recalled its ambassador to the United States.
Then in a Press Briefing at the White House on the same day, Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked by reporters if Biden regretted his remarks. Psaki answered, “Nope.” She continued, “The president gave a direct answer to a direct question.”
Putin suggested holding a live conversation with Biden as soon as Friday or Monday. He added that he wants to “relax a little” this weekend and will head to the forested region in northern Russia, also known as the tiaga. He added, “We are ready any time that is convenient for the American side.”
Officials from the Russian U.S. embassy in Washington warned that Biden’s public criticism of the Russian President had put strained relations between the two nations “under the threat of collapse.”
Vladimir Putin says the relationship between Russia and the U.S. is “under the threat of collapse,” amid a war of words with Pres. Biden.
The administration is now weighing new sanctions following a U.S. intelligence report confirming that Russia interfered in the 2020 election. pic.twitter.com/aRaOzCUDKc
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) March 19, 2021
According to reports, 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 also added that said decision was caused by Biden’s recent remarks, days after he said during a televised interview that he recognized Putin was a “killer.”
The Russian embassy said in a statement, “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.”
Putin also responded to Biden’s comments, telling reporters that he wishes the U.S. President good health. However, other top Russian officials were more critical, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov asserting that Biden “doesn’t want to normalize relations.”
Vladimir Putin has responded to US President Joe Biden's accusation that he is a "killer" – by saying "it takes one to know one".
The Russian president said he wishes Biden "good health".
— Sky News (@SkyNews) March 18, 2021
The Russian embassy also added that “good and pragmatic ties between Russia and the United States meet the aspirations of our countries and the entire international community.”