US–Russian Relations on ‘Verge of Breaking’ After Biden’s Remarks: Moscow

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Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the U.S. ambassador in Moscow and told him that President Joe Biden’s recent comments about Russian President Vladimir Putin have strained ties to “the verge of breaking.”

Last week, Biden branded the Russian leader as a “war criminal” amid the invasion of Ukraine, drawing condemnation from the Foreign Ministry on Monday. Several other White House officials, including Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, used similar rhetoric over the past weekend.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry summoned the ambassador, John Sullivan, and told him that “such statements from the American president, unworthy of a statesman of such high rank, put Russian–American relations on the verge of breaking,” according to a translated statement.

It also warned that “hostile actions taken against Russia will meet decisive and firm pushback,” the statement continued. At the same time, the ministry told Sullivan that it requires “guarantees” that Russian embassies and consulates in the United States would “function smoothly.”

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