Biden raises election meddling with Putin in first in first phone call

World

US President Joe President has warned Russian leader Vladimir Putin about election meddling in their first call as counterparts, says the White House.

The conversation also included a discussion about the ongoing opposition protests in Russia.

A Kremlin statement did not refer to any points of friction, saying the call was “business-like and frank”.

The two leaders reportedly signaled willingness to renew the countries’ last remaining nuclear deal.

Former US President Barack Obama – under whom Biden served as vice-president – was also criticised for failing to check the Kremlin as it annexed Crimea, supported rebel forces in eastern Ukraine and muscled in on Syria.

“President Biden made clear that the United States will act firmly in defence of its national interests in response to actions by Russia that harm us or our allies,” said the White House in a short statement, referencing the main talking points of Tuesday afternoon’s call without listing further details.

The US said that the two presidents also discussed the massive SolarWinds cyber-attack, which has been blamed for Moscow; reports that the Kremlin placed bounties on US soldiers in Afghanistan, and the poisoning of Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny.

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