Erdoğan calls Biden comments on Putin ‘unacceptable’
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Friday called Joe Biden’s recent comments about Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin “unacceptable” and unfit for a head of state.
Earlier this week, Biden was asked in an interview if he thought Putin was a “killer,” and the president responded, “I do.”
“Mr. Biden’s statements about Mr. Putin are not fitting of a president, and a president coming out and using such remarks against the president of a country like Russia is truly unacceptable, not something that can be stomached,” Erdoğan told reporters in Istanbul, Reuters reported.
“In my opinion, Mr. Putin has done what is necessary by giving a very, very smart and elegant answer,” he added.
Turkey and Russia have developed a strong strategic relationship, with Erdoğan referring to Putin as a friend, while relations between Washington and Ankara have become strained in recent years over Turkey’s human rights record and its acquisition of the Russian S-400 missile defense system.
Putin also responded to Biden’s comments, saying in a Thursday news conference, “I would say to him: I wish you good health.”
In Wednesday’s ABC News interview, Biden also said Putin would “pay a price” for Russia’s attempts to interfere in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, prompting Moscow to recall its U.S. ambassador, Anatoly Antonov.