Putin said it takes a killer to know another killer, after U.S. President Joe Biden said he thought the Russian leader was a killer.
The Russian leader spoke on TV after Biden, in an ABC News interview said “I do” when asked if he believed Putin was a killer.
Biden also described Putin as having no soul, and said he would pay a price for alleged Russian meddling in the November 2020 U.S. presidential election, something the Kremlin denies.
The verbal exchanges between Moscow and Washington have sunk relations to a new post-Cold War low.
On Wednesday Russia recalled its Washington ambassador for consultations a day earlier,
Russia is preparing to be hit by a new round of U.S. sanctions in the coming days over that alleged meddling as well as over an alleged hack.
Putin, responding to Biden’s characterisation of him, said he knew the U.S. leader personally, and, in an apparent reference to Biden’s age (78), said he sincerely wished him good health.
Suggesting Biden was hypocritical in his remarks, Putin said that every state had to contend with “bloody events” and added Biden was accusing the Russian leader of something he was guilty of himself.
“I remember in my childhood, when we argued in the courtyard with each other we used to say: it takes one to know one. And that’s not a coincidence, not just a children’s saying or joke. The psychological meaning here is very deep,” Putin said.
“We always see our own traits in other people and think they are like how we really are. And as a result we assess (a person’s) activities and give assessments,” he said.
Shortly before Putin’s remarks, his spokesman said Biden’s comments showed he had no interest in fixing ties with Moscow, which are strained by everything from Syria to Ukraine to Russia’s jailing of opposition politician Alexei Navalny.
Biden was quick to extend a key nuclear arms pact with Russia after he took office in January.
But his administration has said it will take a tougher line with Moscow than Washington did during Donald Trump’s term in office, and engage only when there is a tangible benefit for the United States.