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Photo: Alexei Druzhinin\TASS via Getty Images

Russia's ambassador to Washington has been recalled to Moscow for "consultations" to determine how to move forward with relations with the U.S., the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Wednesday.

Why it matters: The news came hours after an interview aired in which President Biden agreed that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a "killer" and pledged to hold the Kremlin accountable for interfering in the 2020 election.

  • Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova did not provide specific reasons for the recall of Ambassador Anatoly Antonov, but she said relations with the U.S. "are in a difficult state, which Washington has brought to a dead end in recent years."
  • “We are interested in preventing their irreversible degradation, if the Americans are aware of the associated risks,” Zakharova added.

Driving the news: The U.S. intelligence community released a report on Tuesday assessing that Putin authorized influence operations aimed at denigrating President Biden and supporting former President Trump in the 2020 election. The Kremlin has denied the allegations.

  • The U.S. also recently sanctioned seven senior Russian officials for the attempted poisoning and imprisonment of opposition activist Alexei Navalny, who has been transferred to a penal colony. Western leaders and human rights organizations have called for Navalny's immediate release.
  • On Wednesday, the U.S. Commerce Department announced it would expand export restrictions on Russia for violating international bans against chemical and biological weapons with the use of the nerve agent Novichok.

The big picture: Biden has insisted that it's possible to "walk and chew gum at the same time" when it comes to working with Russia on issues of mutual interest — such as the extension of the New START nuclear arms pact — while holding Putin accountable for his domestic abuses and foreign aggression.

Go deeper

46 seconds ago - World

Hong Kong judges return guilty verdict in first security law trial

Activist Tong Ying-kit arrives at the West Kowloon court in Hong Kong in 2020. Photo: Isaac Lawrence/AFP via Getty Images

Tong Ying-kit, the first person to be charged and tried under Hong Kong's national security law was found guilty of terrorism and inciting secession by three judges Tuesday, per Bloomberg.

Editor's note: This a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

Updated 46 mins ago - Sports

Olympics dashboard

🎾: Naomi Osaka eliminated from Olympic tennis tournament

🏊‍♀️: Teen swimmer Lydia Jacoby wins first U.S. women's Tokyo Games gold

✊🏿: Costa Rican gymnast pays tribute to Black Lives Matter in Olympic routine

🥇: Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz wins the Philippines' first Olympic gold

🤖: The robot Olympics

🌡: Heat wave brings scorching temperatures to Tokyo Olympics

Go deeper: Full Axios coverage - Medal tracker

Updated 2 hours ago - Sports

Naomi Osaka eliminated from Olympic tennis tournament

Czech 42nd-ranked Marketa Vondrousova (L) shakes hands with Japan's Naomi Osaka after their Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games women's singles third round tennis match at the Ariake Tennis Park in Tokyo on Tuesday. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP via Getty Images

Naomi Osaka was eliminated from the Olympics after losing her Tokyo tennis tournament match 6-1, 6-4 in the third round to Czech Marketa Vondrousova on Tuesday.

Of note: Japan's Osaka is the women's world No. 2, while is Vondrousova ranked No.42.