Russian President Vladimir Putin at a virtual opening ceremony for medical centers Image: Alexei Druzhinin / TASS via Getty Images
The Kremlin said today that the assessment of Democratic US presidential candidate Joe Biden of Russia as the greatest threat to US national security is misguided and that it encourages hatred against the country.
The comments came just over a week before Biden faced the Republican Donald Trump, seeking re-election, in the presidential election on November 3. Biden leads in opinion polls.
“We absolutely disagree,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call when asked about Biden’s assessment.
“We can only regret that the absolute hatred of the Russian Federation is spread in this way.”
Moscow’s ties to Washington reached their worst post-Cold War moment in 2014, when Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea. Biden was vice president of the Barack Obama administration at the time.
Relations soured further after US intelligence agencies concluded that Russia tried to interfere in the 2016 presidential election so the dispute would tip in favor of Trump – a claim that Moscow denies.
Russia has also refuted allegations by US intelligence agencies that it tries to interfere in this year’s election.
Biden identified Russia as the most serious global threat to Washington in an interview with CBS’s 60 Minutes program on Sunday and China as its biggest competitor.
“Well, I think the biggest threat to America right now, in terms of violating our security and our alliances, is Russia,” said Biden.