Putin snaps back after Biden ‘killer’ comments, but offers talks

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In an ABC News interview broadcast a day earlier, Biden said "I do" when asked if he believed the Russian president was a killer.

He added that Russian Federation would still cooperate with the United States where it answers Moscow's interests.

Putin added that he was ready to discuss bilateral ties, the fight against the pandemic, the settlement of regional conflicts, and issues pertaining to regional stability.

The comments were aired as the US Commerce Department announced it was toughening export restrictions imposed on Russian Federation as punishment for jailed Kremlin critic Navalny's poisoning.

Andrei Turchak, a senior politician in the ruling United Russia party, bitterly blasted Biden, describing the interview as a "triumph of USA political insanity and old-age dementia of their leader".

The Russian government said Antonov had been called back from Washington to Moscow as relations with the U.S. had reached a "blind alley".

Konstantin Kosachev, a deputy head at the Russian parliament's upper house, on Thursday described Biden's comments as "a watershed moment" and demanded that Washington apologise.

U.S. -Russia ties nosedived on Thursday after Russian leader Vladimir Putin shot back at President Joe Biden's description of him as a killer.

"It is clear that he does not want to get the relationship with our country back on track, and we will proceed from that".

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Putin responded to Biden's comments, telling reporters that he wished the president good health.

The US is on the cusp of reaching that 100 million vaccine milestone before Biden hits 60 days in office - which the President set as the new goal during a national primetime address last week.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting on social and economic development of Crimea and Sevastopol, via video conference in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, March 18, 2021.

A report by the US intelligence community on foreign threats that was declassified this week says Putin himself authorized influence operations in a bid to damage President Biden's candidacy and boost former President Donald Trump's chances.

The spokesperson told journalists that Washington had not recalled US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan.

"It's true, we really know each other personally", Putin admitted. But his administration has said it will take a tougher line with Moscow than Washington did during Donald Trump's term in office, and engage only when there is a tangible benefit for the United States.

In her statement, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova did not mention the "killer" remark or any other specific reason for the ambassador's recall. "It would be in the interest of both the Russian and USA people and other countries, bearing in mind that we bear a special responsibility for global security as the largest nuclear powers". The president did not elaborate on the "killer" question or on what costs the US might impose on Russian Federation over election interference.

He said more action might follow, but the recall of the Russian ambassador was a reasonable step.

He said that Monday was another option to launch the talks, as he intends to take the weekend off to spend some free time in the taiga.

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