‘Unacceptable’: Erdogan criticizes Biden for comment on Putin’s ‘killer’ | Middle East News

US President Joe Biden called the Russian president a “ killer ”, with Putin responding that “ it takes someone to know one ”.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that US President Joe Biden’s comments about Vladimir Putin, in which he called him a “killer”, were “unacceptable” and “not suitable for a president”.

In a television interview aired Wednesday, Biden said “yes” when asked if he thought the Russian president was a killer, plunging diplomatic relations to a new low. Putin replied that “it takes one to know one”.

“Mr. Biden’s comment on Putin is unsuitable for a head of state,” the Turkish president told reporters after Friday prayers in Istanbul, praising Putin for giving a “smart” and “classy” response.

Ankara and Washington are NATO allies, although Erdogan and Biden have yet to speak since the latter took office in January.

Putin mocked the US leader on Thursday, saying a Russian phrase that roughly translates to “it takes someone to know one,” and wishing Biden, 78, good health.

“I say this without irony, not as a joke,” Putin, 68, said.

Biden is also remembered in Ankara for calling Erdogan an “autocrat” in an interview at the end of 2019.

Despite their differences over the war in Syria, in which they supported opposing camps, Erdogan called Putin a “friend and strategic partner”.

Deterioration of US-Russian relations

In a very unusual gesture after Biden’s interview, Russia said it was recalling its ambassador to the United States for urgent consultations on the future of US-Russian relations.

The Russian Embassy in Washington, DC, said in a statement that Anatoly Antonov will be leaving the United States on Saturday.

Moscow’s relations with the West, which are already languishing at post-Cold War lows since 2014, have come under further pressure in recent months on opposition leader Alexey Navalny, who is serving a two-year sentence and a half in prison in Russia.

The Kremlin critic returned to Russia in January from Germany, where he was recovering from near-fatal poisoning with what several Western countries have called a nerve agent. He was jailed for parole violations in a decision he and Western countries denounced as politically motivated.

Western powers, including the United States, demanded Navalny’s release. Russia has dismissed these calls as unacceptable interference in its internal affairs.

The U.S. Department of Commerce on Wednesday tightened sanctions on some exports to Russia as punishment for the suspected poisoning of Navalny in August last year. Moscow has denied any role in this affair.

The United States is also believed to be preparing new sanctions against Russia for alleged hacking and interference in the 2020 U.S. election.

“You will see shortly,” Biden told ABC, when asked what the consequences of Russia would be.

American-Turkish tensions

Erdogan’s comments reflect a new wave of tension that has entered Turkey’s relations with Washington since Biden replaced Donald Trump in the White House in January.

Turkish-US relations are also hampered by Ankara’s purchase of advanced S-400 air defense systems from Moscow, which Washington says threatens NATO defenses.

Turkey has said it wants to improve ties under Biden, but called on Washington to end its support for Kurdish-led People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria, and accused it of siding. fighters who she said executed 13 Turks in northern Iraq. month.

Ankara has been enraged by US support for Kurdish fighters in Syria, whom it considers “terrorists”.

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