Putin replies to Biden ‘killer’ comment: ‘Takes one to know one’

Friday, 19 Mar, 2021

Russian President Vladimir Putin challenged his US counterpart Joe Biden to a live debate on Thursday.

He was asked about a new Cold War between the two countries.

Putin, speaking on television, cited a Russian children's playground chant to scathingly respond to Biden's accusation with the comment that "he who said it, did it" (sometimes translated, "It takes one to know one").

"This kind of assessment (by Biden) is not allowed from the mouth of a statesman of such a rank", he added, calling it a watershed moment in US-Russia ties. "And they will have to reckon with that". We always see ourselves.

"I know him [Putin] relatively well", Biden said, recalling his conversation with the Russian ruler in January 2021. "I'm saying this without irony", he said, "not as a joke".

Biden, who was giving his first interview as President Donald Trump's successor, was asked whether he thought Russian Federation had interfered in USA elections and whether Putin himself was a killer. "You think he's a killer?"

The US president's remarks sparked the biggest crisis in bilateral relations in years, and later Wednesday Russia ordered its Washington ambassador back to Moscow for urgent consultations in an unprecedented move in recent diplomatic history. "The psychological meaning here is very deep", Putin said, per Reuters.

"I don't want to put this off for long".

Konstantin Kosachyov, chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Federation Council, demanded that Biden apologize for his remarks, which he called "boorish" allegations. "This kind of statement is not acceptable under any circumstances".

The response followed an interview ABC News aired with Biden on Wednesday in which the USA president agreed that the Russian leader was "a killer" and said he "will pay a price" for alleged recent acts of aggression.

The U.S.is expected to impose sanctions on Russian Federation as soon as next week over the intelligence report's conclusions.

Dmitri Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, forecast that the Russia-U.S. ties will remain bitterly strained in the coming years and spoke about the need to focus on preventing any military incidents between them.

"But of course, we can't not take into account Biden's comments", he said.

Putin, responding to Biden's characterisation of him, said he knew the U.S. leader personally, and, in an apparent reference to Biden's age (78), said he sincerely wished him good health.

"The president gave a direct answer to a direct question", she added. But an escalation of tensions with the West has often accompanied domestic crackdowns by the Kremlin, which claims that the United States is secretly backing opposition politicians in Russian Federation in order to weaken Mr. Putin. Russia's internet regulator, for example, warned that it is gearing up to block the country's access to Twitter, an American company, next month. While Mr. Biden told ABC that he would continue to look for places "where it's in our mutual interest to work together" with Russian Federation, some officials in Moscow responded by dismissing the possibility of any cooperation.

Asked about Biden's remarks during a video call with residents of Crimea marking the anniversary of its 2014 annexation from Ukraine, Putin charged that they reflect the United States' own troubled past.