Kremlin deems Biden's approach to Russia aggressive, hopes for cooperation

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The Kremlin on Friday described comments on Russia made by US President Joe Biden the previous day as aggressive and unconstructive, but said it hoped the two countries could set aside their differences and cooperate where it made sense.

Biden on Thursday promised a new era of US foreign policy in his first diplomatic address as president and said he had told President Vladimir Putin to expect a more muscular US approach to ties with Moscow.

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Biden spoke to Putin by phone last month for the first time since taking office.

“I made it clear to President Putin, in a manner very different from my predecessor, that the days of the United States rolling over in the face of Russia’s aggressive actions, interfering with our elections, cyber attacks, poisoning its citizens, are over,” said Biden.

Russian authorities deny interfering in US elections or poisoning Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, who was this week jailed by a Moscow court for nearly three years in connection with a case he says was trumped up.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday that Biden’s comments were disappointing.

“This is very aggressive, unconstructive rhetoric, to our regret,” said Peskov.

“Any hints of ultimatums are unacceptable to us. We have already said that we won’t pay attention to any lecturing announcements.”

Peskov said the Kremlin hoped however that there could still be useful dialogue between the two countries when their interests coincided.

Despite their disagreements, Russia and the United States earlier this week extended the New START arms control treaty for five years, preserving the last pact limiting deployments of the world’s two largest strategic nuclear arsenals.

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