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Biden warns Putin will pay a price for election meddling

Biden warns Putin will pay a price for election meddling

Posted March. 19, 2021 07:36,   

Updated March. 19, 2021 07:36


Russia summoned home its ambassador to the United States on short notice on Wednesday. It came right after the U.S. administration implied sanctions against Russia for allegedly getting involved in the 2020 U.S. presidential election. Added to this, U.S. President Joe Biden commented that Russian President Vladimir Putin will see the consequences of his actions. All these recent developments in the Washington-Moscow dynamic only show that their relations have ever deteriorated since tensions grew due to Moscow’s allegations to attempt to rig the U.S. presidential election.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said in a statement on Wednesday that Ambassador Anatoly Antonov was ordered to make a temporary return home to discuss where Moscow should be headed in its relations with Washington. In Ambassador Antonov’s comments on Facebook on Wednesday, he attributed U.S. high-ranking officials’ ill-conceived remarks to how the already souring U.S.-Russia relations are being driven into the state of collapse. He assessed that the status quo is a result of Washington’s actions to intentionally put the U.S.-Russia relations into a stalemate. According to Putin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, the allegations about Russia's meddling in the U.S. presidential election are not true and have no foundation nor evidence.

The Office of the U.S. Director of National Intelligence (DNI) on Tuesday released a report arguing that Russian intelligence authorities plotted to facilitate former U.S. President Donald Trump’s triumph against the then Democratic candidate Joe Biden in the 2020 election, indicating that President Putin might have directed this deceptive plan in person. Regarding this, CNN quoted U.S. top officials as saying that Washington plans to add more sanctions against Moscow.

President Biden said in an interview with ABC News released on Wednesday that President Putin will “pay a price” for his election rigging. He recalled his first phone call with Putin late January this year, saying in the interview, “I said, I know you and you know me. If I establish this occurred, then be prepared.” Asked if he thinks of Putin as a killer, President Biden said “yes” with a short pause. Having said that, he implied that the two nations can cooperate in their mutual interests, mentioning the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks - an accord to control nuclear armament - which they agreed this January to extend up to five years.

The U.S. government on March 2 sanctioned seven Russian high-ranking officials, five security organizations, 14 businesses, etc. for colluding with Moscow to attempt to poison the opposition politician Alexei Navalny. It has long engaged in confrontations with Russia over various issues such as the 2014 Crimean crisis, the involvement in the Syrian civil war in 2015 and the violation of sanctions against Iran in 2020.

Jong-Yeob JO jjj@donga.com