Replying to Biden's 'killer' comment, Putin says 'it takes one to know one'
Iran Press TV
Thursday, 18 March 2021 4:04 PM
Russian President Vladimir Putin has mocked his American counterpart, Joe Biden, for his "killer" comment, but stressed that Moscow will not cut ties with Washington over the growing row.
Speaking in a televised event marking the seventh anniversary of the reunification of Crimea with Russia on Thursday, Putin said that the Kremlin would continue working with the White House but made a biting comment aimed at Biden.
"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," Putin said.
"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," the Russian leader added.
His remarks were made two days after Biden said he thought Putin was "a killer."
The West accuses the Russian leader of ordering the poisoning of opposition figure Alexei Navalny. Moscow has repeatedly rejected the allegation.
The American president also said that his Russian counterpart would "pay a price" for his alleged attempt to undermine Biden's candidacy in the US election in 2020.
"As he (Biden) said, we know each other personally. What would I reply to him? I would say: I wish you health. I wish you health. I say that without any irony or joke," Putin further said on Thursday.
In an unprecedented move, Moscow on Wednesday called back its ambassador, Anatoly Antonov, to the US for consultations on the future of US-Russia relations following Biden's "killer" comment, which has seemingly triggered the biggest crisis in bilateral relations in years.
In his remarks on Thursday, Putin said the US was "the only country in the world that used nuclear weapons" in combat. He stressed that Russia knew how to "defend its interests" and would work with Washington on terms that are "beneficial" for Moscow.
"And they'll have to deal with it," the Russian president added.
A watershed moment in US-Russia relations
Konstantin Kosachyov, the deputy chairman of Russia's parliament's upper house, lambasted Biden's comment as "unacceptable."
He said the US president's comment had shattered any hope in Moscow of a change of US policy under the new administration and would inevitably inflame the already strained US-Russia relations.
Kosachyov said the Russian Foreign Ministry's recall of its ambassador to the US was the only reasonable move to make in the circumstances.
"I suspect it will not be the last one if no explanation or apology follows from the American side," Kosachyov said in a Facebook post.
"This kind of assessment is not allowed from the mouth of a statesman of such a rank. This kind of statement is not acceptable under any circumstances," he added, calling it a watershed moment in the US-Russia ties.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Thursday lambasted the comment made by the president of the United States as "very bad".
He said Biden had no interest in mending ties with Moscow.
"It is clear that he does not want to get the relationship with our country back on track, and we will proceed from that," Putin's spokesman added.
Peskov, however, declined to say whether Russia was ready to cut diplomatic ties with the US altogether.
Russia-US ties "in crisis"
The Russian embassy in the US also said in a statement that bilateral ties "are in crisis", warning that Biden's comments had pushed relations to the brink.
"Certain ill-considered statements of high-ranking US officials have put the already excessively confrontational relations under the threat of collapse," it added.
Moscow expects an apology from Washington
Also on Thursday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Moscow expected a formal apology from Washington over Biden's comments, the Interfax news agency reported.
Former US president Donald Trump said in 2017 that he respected the Russian leader. "But he's a killer," Fox News host Bill O'Reilly responded in an interview.
"There are a lot of killers," Trump said. "You think our country's so innocent?"
Early this month, the US and the European Union slapped a new round of sanctions against a number of Russian officials and companies over the Navalny issue.
Moscow denounced the sanctions as the "triumph of absurdity over reason" and "an excuse to continue open interference in our internal affairs."
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