March 18 (UPI) — The Russian government reacted sternly Thursday to a television interview in which U.S. President Joe Biden said he thinks Russian leader Vladimir Putin is a “killer” and that he will “pay a price” for interfering in the 2020 election.
Biden made the remarks on Wednesday night during an interview with ABC News. The president was asked if he thinks the Russian president is a killer.
“[Yes] I do,” Biden answered.
The president also said during the interview that Moscow will face consequences for interfering in the November presidential election. A report from the Office of the National Intelligence Director this week said Putin had approved failed efforts to interfere and help former President Donald Trump win re-election.
The U.S. intelligence community has also repeatedly confirmed that Russia meddled in the 2016 election, too, in Trump’s favor.
“[Putin] will pay a price,” Biden said. “You will see shortly.”
During a briefing Thursday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denounced Biden’s comments.
“I will say one thing. These are very bad remarks on the part of the U.S. president,” he said. “These are very bad relations.”
“When we evaluate other people or even other governments, we always look as if into the mirror,” Putin said during an event marking the seventh anniversary of Russia’s annexation of Crimea. “We always see ourselves in it.”
“I remember when I was young and I got into fights with my friends, we always used to say whoever calls names is called that himself,” he added.
Putin also wished Biden “good health,” but offered a few finer points of criticism.
“The U.S. authorities in general seek certain relations with us, but only in areas the U.S. is interested in, and on their own terms,” he said.
“They think that we are just like them, but we aren’t. Our genetic, cultural and moral codes are different.”
Russia on Wednesday recalled Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov for consultations and said it plans to consider additional steps in its relationship with the United States.
The United States announced new sanctions against Russian officials earlier this month after an intelligence report said Russian operatives were involved in the poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny last summer.