Russia Slams Biden for Turning Down Putin's Call for a Public Talk


The Russian Foreign Ministry said Monday that the Biden administration has rejected President Vladimir Putin’s offer to arrange a quick public call with President Joe Biden to help defuse tensions raised by Biden’s recent remark that the Russian leader was a killer.

“One more opportunity has been missed to find a way out of the deadlock in Russian-U.S. relations created through the fault of Washington,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that “responsibility for this lies entirely with the United States.”

In an ABC News interview broadcast last week, Biden replied “I do” when asked if he thought Putin was a “killer.”

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Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Putin’s subsequent offer for a public call was intended to prevent Biden’s statement from inflicting irreparable damage to the already frayed ties between Russia and the United States.

“I’ve just thought of this now,” Putin told a Russian state-run TV outlet Thursday. “I want to propose to President Biden to continue our discussion, but on the condition that we do it basically live, as it’s called. Without any delays and directly in an open, direct discussion.”

Asked by reporters Friday if he’ll take Putin up on his offer to have a call, Biden said, “I’m sure we’ll talk at some point.”

Russia initially responded to Biden’s comment by recalling its ambassador in Washington for consultations.

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During a public event on Thursday, Putin gave an “it-takes-one-to-know-one” response, pointing at the U.S. history of slavery, its mistreatment of Native Americans and the atomic bombing of Japan in World War II.

“In the history of every people, every state, there are a lot of hard, dramatic and bloody events. But when we evaluate other people or even other governments, we always look as if into the mirror. We always see ourselves in it,” Putin said.

“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 said.

“And that’s not just a children’s joke. The meaning is quite deep psychologically. We always see our own qualities in another person and think that he/she is like ourselves. And coming from that, evaluate his/her actions and evaluate him/her overall,” Putin said.

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At the same time, Putin noted that Russia would still cooperate with the United States where and when it supports Moscow’s interests, and suggested that he and Biden have a call Friday or on Monday that would be broadcast.

In February, Biden announced that he would be taking a tough stance against Russia.

“I made it clear to President Putin, in a manner very different from my predecessor, that the days of the United States rolling over in the face of Russia’s aggressive actions — interfering with our elections, cyberattacks, poisoning its citizens — are over. We will not hesitate to raise the cost on Russia and defend our vital interests and our people,” he said during remarks at the State Department.

Last week, the U.S. national intelligence director’s office released a report finding that Putin authorized influence operations to help then-President Donald Trump’s re-election bid last year.

Biden was asked during the ABC News interview what price the Russian leader will pay for his actions.

“The price he’s going to pay, well, you’ll see shortly,” the president said.

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