Russia announced that it would recall its top diplomat from the United States on Wednesday, hours after US President Joe Biden accepted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s journalist as a soulless “killer”. The ambassador was recalled to determine “what to do and where to go in relations with the United States”.
Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov left the Russian Embassy building in Washington, DC early Saturday afternoon, departing for New York, where he will catch a flight to Moscow, confirmed a Sputnik correspondent.
Antonov waved to reporters from his vehicle and, questioned about his mood, gave a thumbs up gesture. He made no further comment. The diplomat is expected to arrive in the Russian capital on Sunday.
On Friday evening, Antonov released a statement expressing gratitude for letters the Embassy received from U.S. citizens who apologized to Russia for Biden’s remarks.
“I would like to express my deep gratitude to the citizens of the United States who have sent letters to the Embassy of support for the development of friendly relations between Russia and the United States. Many people disagreed and apologized for what was thoughtless. recent statements on the Russian Federation from Washington, “Antonov wrote.
The envoy added that he was “deeply touched by the benevolent and active position of ordinary Americans who understand that dialogue between our countries should be based on mutual respect and equality”, and expressed the hope that the White House would “listen to the voices” of its constituents and “interrupt its course aimed at further devastating the already excessively conflicting relations” between the two countries.
The last time Russia recalled its ambassador to the United States was in 1998, when the United States and the United Kingdom launched airstrikes against Iraq. Previously, the United States recalled its top diplomats to Moscow in 1934 and 1980.
President Biden sparked a diplomatic row with Moscow out of the blue on Wednesday after accepting an ABC News correspondent’s qualification of Vladimir Putin as a “soulless” “killer” and threatened Moscow with further sanctions.
Putin’s spokesman and the Russian Foreign Ministry lambasted POTUS over the remarks, the former suggesting that the comments indicated Washington was unwilling to improve relations.
The Russian president himself, however, brushed aside the insults, wishing Biden “good health” and suggesting that he may have projected the guilt of the United States for things like slavery and mistreatment of Native Americans. on Russia.
The “killer” comments are not the first time Biden has launched personal attacks on foreign leaders. Last year, he called Chinese President Xi Jinping a “thug,” compared North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to Hitler, and called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan a “tyrant”. Donald Trump had his own epithet for Vladimir Putin, calling him “badass”, but only used the term a few times during his presidency.
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