Russia calls back US ambassador as it ponders ‘irreversible degradation’ after Biden brands Putin a ‘killer’

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Russia called its US ambassador Anatoly Antonov back home on Wednesday for consultations, as Moscow mulls avoiding “irreversible degradation” of relations with America during the Biden administration, according to the Russian foreign ministry.

Tensions between the two nations are high, following high-profile incidents including recently declassified reports on Russia’s suspected attempts to interfere in the 2020 election, the controversy over the poisoning of opposition leader Alexey Navalny, and president Biden recently calling Vladimir Putin a “killer” in an interview on ABC on Tuesday.

“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,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement, according to Russia’s state-owned Sputnik news service.

A pause would also allow Americans to “acknowledge the associated risks” of the fraying relationship between the two nations, she added, which “Washington has itself sent into a stalemate in recent years.”

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