Russia has recalled its Washington ambassador for talks to prevent the “irreversible deterioration” of relations with the US.
The Russian government said Anatoly Antonov had been called back to Moscow as US ties had reached a “blind alley”.
The move came after President Joe Biden said Vladimir Putin would “pay the price” for alleged election meddling.
In an interview with ABC News, Mr Biden confirmed he thought the Russian president was “a killer”.
Mr Biden had been commenting on an American intelligence report that suggested Mr Putin had authorised an interference campaign in last November’s presidential election in the US.
The report accused Russia of trying to sway the election in favour of former Republican President Donald Trump, who was defeated by Mr Biden, a Democrat.
Mr Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said the accusations were not backed by evidence and would further harm bilateral ties.
The US is expected to impose sanctions on Russia as soon as next week over the report’s conclusions.
What did President Biden say?
Mr Biden told ABC he had warned Mr Putin about a potential response to alleged election meddling during a call in late January.
“He will pay a price,” Mr Biden said in the interview, broadcast on Wednesday.