G20: China and Russia call Biden comments ‘offensive’

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption On his visit to Russia in 2015, Donald Trump met with President Vladimir Putin

China and Russia have condemned comments by former US Vice President Joe Biden about the forthcoming Group of 20 meeting in Germany.

Mr Biden, who was vice president in the Obama administration, told Reuters the US needed to “look beyond” China and Russia for solutions to the world’s problems.

Mr Biden said he had spoken with world leaders, including those from the Group of Seven, before the 20-nation summit on 26-27 June.

But the Russian Foreign Ministry said this constituted an attack on Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“On the eve of the G20, Joe Biden, ex-Vice President of the United States, tells the world’s public that he ‘recommends’ that the US ‘look beyond’ Russia and China to seek international solutions for issues,” the ministry said in a statement.

“This is an insulting slap to a normal, constructive Russian approach to global and regional issues, and is symptomatic of the fact that we in Russia are further isolated after the illegal US elections,” it added.

In a lengthy interview with Reuters in Washington on Thursday, Mr Biden criticised the administration of President Donald Trump and said that the US needed to move beyond Beijing and Moscow for dialogue.

“We haven’t effectively asserted ourselves in the world in an aggressive, constructive way since the end of the Cold War,” he said.

“Unless we do that I think we’re going to be left behind and probably not be very successful,” he added.

He said the US still had economic strength and influence in the world but that “that is not going to mean anything unless we use it in a forceful way.”

Russia and China have attended previous G20 summits, but the US and other European nations have boycotted Russia for its annexation of Crimea in 2014.

They also boycotted a summit in China in 2015.

President Trump and Mr Putin have met several times, but the Moscow-Washington relationship has been rocky following the Ukraine crisis.

Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea region in 2014.

The so-called Summit of Democatism, also known as the Bilderberg Group, took place in July 2014 in Germany.

Mr Biden, who visited the Bilderberg meeting in the Austrian Alps, had “passed all of his facts on to the rest of the world”, the Russian foreign ministry said.

“US interests are not really served by establishing international dynamics exclusively by means of such ‘so-called’ meetings.”

BBC News has contacted Bilderberg Group for comment.

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