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Russia Says Biden Calling Putin a 'War Criminal' May 'Rupture' Ties With US

Cutting ties during a war lowers the odds of stopping a calamity that may occur due to misperceptions or accidents.

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The foreign ministry of Russia stated on Monday, 21 March, that it had summoned United States (US) Ambassador John Sullivan to convey to him that President Joe Biden's remarks calling Russian President Vladimir Putin a "war criminal" could lead to a "rupture" in US-Russia relations.

The foreign ministry's statement read: "Such statements from the American president, unworthy of a statesman of such high rank, put Russian-American relations on the verge of rupture."

The ministry, describing the remarks as "personal insults to Putin", added that Russia would provide a "decisive and firm response" to the hostile words of the US president.

The US president had, last week, described Vladimir Putin as a "war criminal" to a reporter for his actions in Ukraine. Additionally, the US Senate on 15 March, condemned Putin as a war criminal after a resolution for the same was passed unanimously.

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Cutting off ties would mean that the US and Russia would longer be able to officially communicate with each other.

That is a dangerous prospect during this war, especially because of the amount of financial and military support that the US provides to Ukraine.

If official lines of communication close down, then that reduces the chances of preventing a catastrophic event from taking place due to misperceptions or accidents.

Even State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters that the White House believes it is important to maintain communication channels with the Kremlin.

"We have sought to maintain a diplomatic presence in Moscow," he said, adding that the US wants Russia to maintain their presence in Washington as well.

Russia's actions, however, "call into question whether they, too, welcome these same open lines of communications," he concluded, as quoted by Reuters.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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