Russian President Vladimir Putin will not congratulate U.S. President Joe Biden on the occasion of America’s Independence Day due to Washington’s “unfriendly” actions towards Moscow, the Kremlin stated on Monday.
“Congratulations this year can hardly be considered appropriate,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call. “The United States’ unfriendly policies are the reason.”
Last March, Moscow banned Biden and a dozen top U.S. officials from entering the country as a response to heavy sanctions imposed by Washington on Russian officials.
In previous remarks, Putin warned that Russia will strike new targets if the West supplies long-range missiles to Ukraine.
If Kyiv is supplied with long-range missiles, “we will draw the appropriate conclusions and use our arms…. to strike targets we haven’t hit before,” Putin said, affirming that new arms deliveries to Kyiv were aimed at “prolonging the conflict”.
The statement came after Biden announced that the U.S. is sending advanced rocket systems to Ukraine to strike “key targets on the battlefield in Ukraine.”
An official identified the weapon as the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), pointing out that its range of 80 kilometres will keep them from being used to hit targets inside Moscow.