Russian President Vladimir Putin has fired back at his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden’s assertion that he is a “killer” by saying “It takes one to know one.”
Biden set off a storm of condemnation from Moscow on Wednesday when he agreed with the assessment that Putin is a “killer” in an ABC News interview, adding that the Russian leader would “pay” for election meddling. Shortly after, Russia announced that it recalled its Washington ambassador to Moscow to discuss the future of U.S.-Russia ties.
“When we judge other people or evaluate other states, nations, we always seem to look in the mirror, we always see ourselves there. We always see our essence in the other person,” Putin said when asked about Biden’s comments at a live televised meeting Thursday.
“During childhood, when we argued with each other in the yard, we’d say: It takes one to know one!” he said.
“What would I say to Biden? I would wish him good health, I say that without irony or joking,” he added.
Putin’s latest remarks echo Biden’s retelling of his March 2011 meeting when he told the then-Russian prime minister that he didn’t think he had a soul. “He looked back and he said, ‘We understand each other’,” Biden recalled in the Wednesday interview.
Earlier Thursday, the Kremlin said it was “clear” that Biden isn’t interested in improving relations with Russia and that “we will proceed from that.”
Putin clarified that Russia doesn’t plan to completely sever ties with the U.S., but would work with Washington “in those areas in which we ourselves are interested and on the terms that we consider beneficial for ourselves.”
The U.S. has long been critical toward the alleged poisonings and assassinations of prominent Russian dissidents.
Since taking office in January, Biden has imposed new sanctions on Russia over the near-fatal poisoning and jailing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny. CNN and Reuters reported Wednesday that more sanctions could come as soon as next week.
The U.S. Commerce Department on Wednesday also expanded its export restrictions to Russia.