Kremlin slams Biden's 'very aggressive rhetoric'

WION Web Team
Moscow, Russia Published: Feb 05, 2021, 04:03 PM(IST)

Flags of the US and Russia (representative image) Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Biden on Thursday promised a new era of US foreign policy in his first diplomatic address as president and said he had told Russia President Vladimir Putin that the days of the United States rolling over in the face of what he called Moscow's aggressive actions were over.

The Kremlin has slammed US President Joe Biden's "very aggressive rhetoric" after he said Washington's relationship with Moscow would change and demanded opposition politician Alexei Navalny's release. 

"This is very aggressive and unconstructive rhetoric," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. "We've already said that we will not heed patronising statements of this sort. We will not do it."

He said Russia would not tolerate any US ultimatums, adding the Kremlin hoped however that there could still be useful dialogue between the two countries when their interests coincided.

Biden on Thursday promised a new era of US foreign policy in his first diplomatic address as president and said he had told Russia President Vladimir Putin that the days of the United States rolling over in the face of what he called Moscow's aggressive actions were over.

In toughly worded remarks pivoting from his predecessor Donald Trump's muted approach to Moscow, Biden warned of "advancing authoritarianism" in China and Russia.

The speech at the State Department thrust Russia back onto the front burner of the US diplomatic agenda after four years during which Trump largely pushed the worsening relationship with Moscow to the side and consistently refused to criticise Putin.

Biden said that in his first phone call with the Russian leader since taking office on January 20 he "made it clear" to Putin that the relationship was changing.

"We will not hesitate to raise the cost on Russia and defend our vital interest and our people," the Democrat said, highlighting a massive cyber attack and election interference blamed on Moscow.

"The days of the United States rolling over... are over," he said.

Biden also devoted part of his speech to unusually direct criticism of the authorities' treatment of Navalny.

"Mr Navalny, like all Russian citizens, is entitled to his rights under the Russian constitution. He's been targeted for exposing corruption. He should be released immediately and without condition," he said.

(with inputs from agencies)

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