18 Mar 2021: Russia recalls envoy after Biden slams Putin over election meddling
Russia recalled its ambassador from Washington for talks on Wednesday.
The move to call back Anatoly Antonov to Moscow came after US President Joe Biden, in a fresh interview, referred to the Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin as a "killer" who will "pay a price" for alleged election meddling.
Here are more details on this.
Details: 'He will pay a price'
In an interview with ABC News, Biden was asked about a US intelligence report that Putin tried to harm his candidacy in the US Presidential election last November.
"He will pay a price," Biden, 78, said.
Further asked if he thought Putin is a killer, Biden said, "I do."
Putin has been accused of ordering the poisoning of Opposition leader Alexei Navalny and others.
Fact: 'Russians will be held accountable for their actions'
In a later news conference, White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said that relations between the US and Russia will be different than under the Trump leadership. "Certainly the Russians will be held accountable for the action they've taken," Psaki told reporters.
Response: US brought relations to a blind alley, says Russia
"Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov has been summoned to Moscow for consultations in order to analyze what needs to be done in the context of relations with the United States," Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
"The most important thing for us is to identify ways of rectifying Russia-US relations, which have been going through hard times," it added.
Comparison: Trump had refused to comment negatively about Putin
Biden's description of Putin as a "killer" marked a sharp contrast with Trump's refusal to say anything negative about the Russian President.
In an earlier interview with Fox News, Trump was asked about Putin being a "killer."
"There are a lot of killers," he had replied back then. "You think our country is so innocent?"
Report: What did the US Intelligence report say?
The 15-page US Intelligence Report, released on Tuesday by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, highlighted what it said were "influence operations" pushed by Russia and Iran.
It said that some people connected to the Russian intelligence had spread unsubstantiated claims about Biden, and promoted anti-Biden narratives to media outlets ahead of the November 3 election.