Russia says Biden’s ‘war criminal’ claim has put relations ‘on the verge of rupture’

Array
- Advertisement -


  • Russia says it told US Ambassador John Sullivan that President Joe Biden’s decision to label Russian President Vladimir Putin a “war criminal” has put “Russian-American relations on the verge of rupture.”
  • Biden said Wednesday that he believes Russian leader Vladimir Putin “is a war criminal” for his attacks on Ukraine. It was the first time Biden had publicly branded Putin with that phrase.
  • The diplomatic breakdown comes as Russia nears the one-month point in its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

- Advertisement -

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it summoned US Ambassador John Sullivan on Monday in Moscow to formally protest President Joe Biden’s decision last week to label Russian President Vladimir Putin a “war criminal.”

- Advertisement -

Sullivan was told that Biden’s allegations had put “Russian-American relations on the verge of rupture,” according to to a statement from the Foreign Ministry translated by NBC News.

Biden said Wednesday that he believes Putin “is a war criminal” for ordering Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine. It was the first time Biden had publicly branded Putin with that phrase.

- Advertisement -

Biden’s comment came hours Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and other top officials met virtually with the International Criminal Court’s top prosecutor, who two weeks ago opened an investigation into possible war crimes by Russia.

A State Department spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday from CNBC.

But the US Embassy in Moscow tweeted that Sullivan met with Russian diplomats in order to demand consular access to US citizens detained in Russia, “including those in pretrial detention.”

American WNBA star player Brittney Griner is currently being held in pretrial detention outside Moscow on pretrial drugs of smuggling drugs. The American Embassy did not mention Griner by name in its tweet.

Sullivan is a Trump-era appointee whom the US president asked to stay on at the start of Biden’s term in 2021.

The diplomatic breakdown comes as Russia nears the one-month point in its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, which was launched Feb. 24.

An initial Russian infantry advance has largely stalled outside of the country’s major cities amid fierce Ukrainian resistance. This has forced the Kremlin to shift tactics from a quick land war to a conflict of attrition marked by the shelling of residential areas in an effort to wear down and demoralize the nation.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki later said Biden was speaking from his heart about what he has seen on the news about the “barbaric actions by a brutal dictator.”

Psaki noted there is a separate legal process to determine whether Putin has violated international law and committed war crimes. That process is currently underway at the State Department, she said.

While the formal process proceeds slowly, top officials in the Biden administration have openly alleged that Putin is a war criminal and that Russia is committing war crimes in Ukraine.

One day after Biden’s comment, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “Personally, I agree” with the president’s assessment of Putin.

“Intentionally targeting civilians is a war crime. After all the destruction of the past three weeks, I find it difficult to conclude that the Russians are doing otherwise,” said Blinken.

CNBC Politics

Read more of CNBC’s politics coverage:

  • Biden tells US troops in Poland they are fighting for democracy; 300 people feared dead in Mariupol theater bombing
  • EU strikes gas deal with the US as it seeks to cut its reliance on Russia
  • Treasury Secretary Yellen sees no need for China sanctions as US tries to deter aid to Russia

Correction: Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “Personally, I agree” with the president’s assessment of Putin. An earlier version misspelled Blinken’s first name.

,

Credit: www.cnbc.com /

- Advertisement -

Stay on top - Get the daily news in your inbox

DMCA / Correction Notice

Recent Articles

Related Stories

Stay on top - Get the daily news in your inbox