Russia called back its Washington Ambassador on Thursday, a day after President of the United States Joe Biden branded the Russian President Vladimir Putin as a "killer."
Biden said he believes that Putin is a "killer," has no soul, and will "pay a price" for his wrongdoings in an interview by ABC News aired on Wednesday.
Russian Foreign Ministry said it called back the U.S. Ambassador Anatoly Antonov for consultations, to determine the prospects of the future relationship with Washington.
According to the Russian Foreign Ministry's spokesperson Maria Zakharova, Moscow is interested in avoiding any "irreversible degradation" of the bilateral ties, provided the Americans "acknowledge the associated risks."
“The new American administration has been in power for two months, and a symbolic 100-day anniversary is just round the corner, which is an appropriate milestone to try and assess what the Biden team is successful in, and what it’s not,” Zakharova said in a statement.
Biden: "Putin will pay a price"
The tension has been escalating between the two states after U.S. accused Russia of interfering in U.S. elections back in 2020.
According to the report released by the Office of the Director of U.S. National Intelligence, the 2020 misinformation campaign was aimed at “denigrating President Biden’s candidacy supporting former President Trump, undermining public confidence in the electoral process, and exacerbating sociopolitical divisions in the U.S."
President Biden said that he had warned his Russian counterpart about a potential response from the U.S. during a call in January.
“He will pay a price... We had a long talk... I said: I know you, and you know me. If I establish this occurred, then be prepared,” Biden reported.
Biden's administration also imposed sanctions over the poisoning and detention of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
Russian opposition leader Navalny was jailed on January 17, when he returned to Russia from Germany after recovering from poisoning with a nerve agent, which Russian security service was accused of attempting to kill him.
Bilateral relations "in a difficult state"
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that relations “are in a difficult state, which Washington has brought to a dead-end in recent years."
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said: "We will be direct, we will speak out on areas where we have concerns, and it will certainly be, as the president said last night — certainly, the Russians will be held accountable for the actions that they have taken."
Earlier Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said he thinks Washington would apparently continue pressure on Moscow, told that he hoped for "pragmatic cooperation."
Biden says Putin is a killer, has no soul
In his interview, Joe Biden also revealed he previously told Putin to his face that he has no soul. In response, Russia's president said "we understand each other", Biden claimed.
When asked whether he believes Putin is a "killer," Biden replied: "I do."