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.
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