US President, Joe Biden, has called his Russian counterpart, President Vladimir Putin, a killer.
Mr Biden has equally threatened to ensure Russia “pay” for alleged meddling in the US 2020 Presidential Election.
He served the warning in an interview with ABC News. An excerpt of the interview was released on Wednesday, March 17, 2021.
In the interview, Mr Biden noted that he had cautioned Mr Putin that there could be repercussions to any confirmed meddling.
He told the interviewer, George Stephanopoulos, that “He [Putin] will pay a price.”
“We had a long talk, he and I, when we – I know him relatively well. And the conversation started off, I said, ‘I know you and you know me. If I establish this occurred, then be prepared,” according to Mr. Biden said.
President Biden took over power from former President Donald Trump on January 20, 2021.
When he was asked if he saw Putin to be a “killer,” he retorted emphatically that “I do.”
President Biden’s comments come on the back of a US intelligence report linking Mr Putin to a campaign aimed at swinging the US vote in 2020.
The report published by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Tuesday, March 16, 2021, said Russia made efforts to “push influence narratives” that included misleading or unsubstantiated claims against Mr Biden “to US media organisations, US officials, and prominent US individuals, including some close to former President Trump and his administration”.
The report alleged that Mr Putin was “aware and probably directed” the campaign to undermine Mr Biden while at the same time promoting then President Trump.
By Melvin Tarlue