Earlier this week, Joe Biden referred to Russian President Vladimir Putin as “soulless” and a “killer” and claimed that Putin would “pay the price” for interfering in U.S. elections.
The alleged interference involved spreading anti-Biden propaganda to United States voters to affect the outcome of the 2020 election, which Biden was declared the winner of, regardless.
The goal of the Russian campaign (according to pro-Biden network CNN) was to persuade voters that Biden’s son Hunter had been involved in corrupt business dealings using his father’s name in Ukraine – claims that turned out to be accurate after text messages concerning the operation were published. A similar situation occurred following the 2016 election, in which failed Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton blamed Russia for playing a role in revealing her private e-mails to the public. The content of those e-mails, which was later verified, included attempts to rig the 2016 Democratic Party primary in Clinton’s favor against Senator Bernie Sanders. The e-mails led to the public disgrace of former Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Donna Brazile.
In response to Biden’s words, Russia immediately pulled its ambassador out of the U.S., halting any official diplomatic relations between the two countries. President Putin later challenged Biden to a televised debate on the issue, followed by an open discussion of the relationship between the two countries, which Biden declined.
The White House says the President is “quite busy” and unable to debate.
Biden’s attack on Putin effectively puts an end to hopes that Russia and the United States would continue the competitive but stable relationship they maintained during Donald Trump’s presidency.
Russian maintains the second-largest store of nuclear arms in the world, with the United States coming in at first.