Russia says US refused Biden-Putin call amid tensions

The Russian Foreign Ministry is blaming the United States for hurting relations by refusing a proposal to hold a live-broadcast discussion between President BidenJoe BidenChinese apps could face subpoenas, bans under Biden executive order: report OVERNIGHT ENERGY:  EPA announces new clean air advisors after firing Trump appointees |  Senate confirms Biden pick for No. 2 role at Interior | Watchdog: Bureau of Land Management saw messaging failures, understaffing during pandemic Poll: Majority back blanket student loan forgiveness MORE and Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinHillicon Valley: Senate unanimously confirms Chris Inglis as first White House cyber czar | Scrutiny mounts on Microsoft's surveillance technology | Senators unveil bill to crack down on cyber criminals Ukrainian diplomat calls for Russia to withdraw after Biden-Putin summit Meghan McCain, Whoopi Goldberg spar over Biden's outburst at CNN reporter MORE.

“We regret to note that the American side has not supported the proposal made by President of Russia Vladimir Putin to US President Joe Biden to hold a live-broadcast discussion on March 19 or 22, 2021, on the problems that have accumulated in bilateral relations, as well as on the subject of strategic stability,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“One more opportunity has been missed to find a way out of the deadlock in Russian-US relations created through the fault of Washington. Responsibility for this lies entirely with the United States,” the statement reads.


Biden on Friday had given the proposal the cold shoulder, saying in response to a question about the offer: “I’m sure we’ll talk at some point.”

Biden has signaled a tougher line with Russian than former President TrumpDonald TrumpChinese apps could face subpoenas, bans under Biden executive order: report Kim says North Korea needs to be 'prepared' for 'confrontation' with US Ex-Colorado GOP chair accused of stealing more than 0K from pro-Trump PAC MORE, agreeing with a television anchor's question last week that Putin was a "killer," and adding that sanctions on Russia will “come in time.”

In the March 17 interview with ABC News, Biden also warned that the Kremlin will “pay a price” for its efforts to interfere in the 2020 election. 

In response, Putin, during a televised video conference, wished Biden “good health.” 

“What would I tell him?” I would say ‘stay healthy.’ I wish him good health. I am saying this without irony or joking,” Putin said.


Putin also gave an "it-takes-one-to-know-one" reply in response to Biden's comments, pointing to the U.S. history of slavery, killing Native Americans and the World War II atomic bombing of Japan, The Associated Press reported.

Russia’s foreign ministry on Wednesday withdrew its ambassador to the U.S. following Biden’s remarks, writing in a statement that the envoy was brought back “in order to analyse what needs to be done in the context of relations with the United States.”

According to a report from TASS New Agency, the ambassador returned to Russia on Sunday.

Biden and Putin previously spoke on Jan. 26, the first call between the two leaders since Biden was inaugurated. According to a readout of the call from the White House, the two leaders discussed their shared willingness to extend the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty for five years, and Biden “raised other matters of concern, including the SolarWinds hack, reports of Russia placing bounties on United States soldiers in Afghanistan, interference in the 2020 United States election, and the poisoning of Aleksey Navalny.” 

The White House also said Biden “made clear that the United States will act firmly in defense of its national interests in response to actions by Russia that harm us or our allies,” and that the two leaders “agreed to maintain transparent and consistent communication going forward.”