Russia says relations between the United States and Moscow are on the verge of fracturing after Biden’s statements as a “war criminal”.

US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan speaks with reporters in Moscow, Russia, January 30, 2020. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina/File Photo

Register now to get free unlimited access to Reuters.com

(Reuters) – The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday it had summoned US Ambassador John Sullivan to tell him that President Joe Biden’s description of Russian President Vladimir Putin as a “war criminal” had pushed bilateral ties to the brink of collapse.

President Biden said last week that Putin was a “war criminal” for sending tens of thousands of troops to Ukraine. Read more

“Such statements from the US president, which are unworthy of a statesman of this high rank, put Russian-American relations on the brink of a split,” the ministry said in a statement.

Register now to get free unlimited access to Reuters.com

The Kremlin earlier described the comments as “personal insults” to Putin. Read more

The department also told Sullivan that hostilities against Russia would receive a “decisive and resolute response.”

The US State Department did not confirm the summons. But US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, in an interview on MSNBC, said that the cited Russian statement “only shows how desperate President Putin has become.”

Russia sent tens of thousands of troops to Ukraine on Feb. 24 in what it called a special operation to undermine its southern neighbor’s military capabilities and root out what it called dangerous nationalists.

Ukrainian forces launched stiff resistance against the Russian forces and the West imposed sweeping sanctions on Moscow in an attempt to force it to withdraw.

Additional reporting by Susan Heffy and Humira Pamuk in Washington. Editing by Kevin Levy and Cynthia Osterman

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.