Putin snaps back at Biden’s ‘killer’ comments, but offers talks

President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that he and US President Joe Biden should hold live talks online in the coming days after Biden said he believed the Russian leader was a murderer and diplomatic ties sank to a new low after the Cold War.

Putin spoke on television and quoted a Russian playground for children in response to Biden’s accusation with the comment that “he who said it, did it” (sometimes translated, “It takes one to know one”).

In an ABC News interview aired on Wednesday urging Russia to recall its Washington ambassador for consultation, Biden said “I do” when asked if he thought Putin was a killer.

Biden was quick to extend a nuclear pact with Russia after taking office. But his administration has said it will take a tougher line with Moscow than Washington did during Donald Trump’s term and engage only when there is a concrete benefit to the United States.

Putin said he had last spoken to Biden by telephone at the request of the US president and that he now suggested that they have a new conversation on Friday or Monday, which would be held via video link and broadcast live.

“I want to offer President Biden that we continue our discussion, but provided we do it live, online, without any delays,” Putin said when asked in a television interview about Biden’s comments. The two leaders last spoke by telephone on January 26 after Biden took office.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki on Thursday said Biden did not regret calling Putin a killer and hovered over a question about Putin’s request for an immediate public hearing.

“I would say that the president already had a conversation with President Putin, although there are more world leaders he has not yet met,” Psaki said. “The president will, of course, be in Georgia tomorrow and quite busy.”

Putin said he was ready to discuss Russia’s relations with the United States and other issues such as regional conflicts “tomorrow or, say, on Monday”, adding that he would have a weekend break in a remote part of Russia.

‘We are different’

In his ABC comments, Biden also described Putin as no soul and said he would pay a price for alleged Russian interference in the US presidential election in November 2020, something the Kremlin denies.

Russia is preparing to be hit by a new round of US sanctions in the coming days due to US allegations of interference in the election and hacking.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday that Washington was tracking efforts to complete Russia’s natural gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 and evaluate information on entities that appear to be involved.

In a very unusual move after Biden’s interview, Moscow recalled its ambassador to the United States for consultation.

Suggesting that Biden was hypocritical in his comments, Putin said each state had to contend with “bloody events” and added that Biden accused the Russian leader of something he owed himself.

“I remember in my childhood, when we argued in the yard with each other, we used to say: he who said it, did it. And it’s not a coincidence, not just a child’s saying or joke. The psychological meaning here is very deep, Putin said.

“We always see our own qualities in other people and think that they are who we really are. And as a result, we assess (a person’s) activities and provide assessments, he said.

Putin then talked about US history, talked about what he called the genocide of Indians, slavery and ill-treatment of black people, and the United States dropped atomic bombs on Japan at the end of World War II.

“They think we are like them, but we are different, we have a different genetic and cultural-moral code,” Putin said.

“We will work with them in the areas we are interested in on terms that we consider to be beneficial to ourselves. They will have to deal with it regardless of all their efforts to stop us from evolving, regardless of sanctions and regardless of insults ”.

( Jowharwith REUTERS)