Russia says US relations at ‘breaking’ point after Biden called Putin a war criminal

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Russia says US relations at 'breaking' point after Biden called Putin a war criminal

Relations between Russia and the US are “on the verge of breaking” after President Biden called Russian leader Vladimir Putin a war criminal, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The message was delivered in person Monday to John Sullivan, US ambassador to Russia, the ministry said in a statement.

Sullivan was “handed a note of protest in connection with the recent unacceptable statements made [by Biden],” the ministry said.

“It is emphasized that such statements by the American President, unworthy of a statesman of such a high rank, put Russian-American relations on the verge of breaking,” the statement said.

The Kremlin added that any “hostile actions taken against Russia would receive a decisive and firm rebuff.”

Biden made the comment Wednesday after being asked by a reporter if he was willing to attach the label to the Russian president.

“Oh, I think he is a war criminal,” Biden said.

Ukrainians escaping from the besieged city of Mariupol along with other passengers from Zaporizhzhia arrive at Lviv on March 20, 2020.
Ukrainians escaping from the besieged city of Mariupol along with other passengers from Zaporizhzhia arrive at Lviv on March 20, 2020.
AP Photo/Bernat Armangue
President Biden called Vladimir Putin a "war criminal" while responding to a reporter's question on March 16, 2022.
President Biden called Vladimir Putin a “war criminal” while responding to a reporter’s question on March 16, 2022.
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File
Ukrainian firefighters extinguish smoke after shelling of a shopping center, in Kyiv on March 21, 2022.
Ukrainian firefighters extinguish smoke after the shelling of a shopping center in Kyiv on March 21, 2022.
AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky
The Kremlin added that any "hostile actions taken against Russia would receive a decisive and firm rebuff."
The Kremlin added that any “hostile actions taken against Russia would receive a decisive and firm rebuff.”
Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP
A Ukrainian serviceman stands outside a bunker on the outskirts of Kyiv.
A Ukrainian serviceman stands outside a bunker on the outskirts of Kyiv.
AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda
Associated Press videographer Mstyslav Chernov walks amid smoke rising from an air defense base in the aftermath of a Russian strike in Mariupol.
Associated Press videographer Mstyslav Chernov walks amid smoke rising from an air defense base in the aftermath of a Russian strike in Mariupol.
AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka
Ukrainian soldiers and firefighters search for people under debris inside a shopping center after shelling, in Kyiv.
Ukrainian soldiers and firefighters search for people under debris inside a shopping center after shelling, in Kyiv.
AP Photo/Felipe Dana
A man reacts standing near his house ruined after a shelling by Russian forces on March 21, 2022.
A man reacts near his house ruined after shelling by Russian forces on March 21, 2022.
AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky
A firefighter looks at the destruction after a shopping center in Kyiv, Ukraine, was shelled on March 21, 2022.
A firefighter looks at the destruction after a shopping center in Kyiv, Ukraine, was shelled on March 21, 2022.
AP

The Kremlin’s statement follows a trend of increasingly hostile rhetoric between the US and Russia as its invasion of Ukraine remains stalled.

On Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that any foreign weapon deliveries to Ukraine would be considered a legitimate military target by the Kremlin.

With Post wires

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