Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has told the U.S. ambassador in Moscow that U.S. President Joe Biden’s recent comments about Russian President Vladimir Putin have strained ties between the two countries to “the verge of breaking.”
Last week, Biden branded the Russian leader as a “war criminal” amid the invasion of Ukraine, drawing condemnation from the Foreign Ministry on March 21. Several other White House officials, including Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, used similar rhetoric over the past weekend.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry told Ambassador John Sullivan that “such statements from the American president, unworthy of a statesman of such high rank, put Russian–American relations on the verge of breaking,” according to a translated statement.
The ministry also stated that “hostile actions taken against Russia will meet decisive and firm pushback,” according to the statement. At the same time, it told Sullivan that it requires “guarantees” that Russian embassies and consulates in the United States would “function smoothly.”
On March 21, European Union countries also accused the Russian armed forces of committing war crimes in Ukraine. But they appeared unlikely to impose new sanctions on Moscow, despite a clamor across Europe for those responsible for attacks on civilians to be held accountable.
The International Criminal Court in the Netherlands said it’s gathering evidence about any possible war crimes in Ukraine, but Russia—like the United States—doesn’t recognize the tribunal’s jurisdiction.
International sanctions have cut Russia off from the world’s financial system. However, Europe, which is the country’s main energy buyer, has made an exception for Russian gas and oil.
Large international corporations have said they won’t do business inside Russia and that they won’t make any new investments in the country, citing the conflict.
Earlier in the day, Ukrainian officials rejected Russia’s calls for troops inside the besieged city of Mariupol to lay down their arms and surrender. The Russian Ministry of Defense said authorities in Mariupol could face a military tribunal if they side with Ukrainian nationalist forces, Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported.
“There can be no talk of any surrender, laying down of arms,” Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk told media outlet Ukrayinska Pravda.
Nearly 3.4 million people have been forced to flee Ukraine since Feb. 24, according to the United Nations. The U.N. has confirmed more than 900 civilian deaths, but said the actual toll is probably much higher. Estimates of Russian deaths vary.
U.S. State Department officials didn’t respond to a request for comment by press time.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Have you received Salvation from Jesus the Messiah? Time is running out. Jesus will return very soon. The signs of His return are everywhere in this crazy world we are living in. Please read below so that you can be saved. Jesus is the only way to Heaven. The Words below are directly from the Bible, so you can trust them.
For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6)
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (John 3:16-17)
If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all )is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:9-13)
“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. IF YOU KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. (John 15:9)
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
For those of us who persevere and do what Jesus says to do, we have this to look forward to in eternity: And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
The Bible – New King James Version, NKJV