The Kremlin has denounced US President Joe Biden's remarks about Russian President Vladimir Putin, warning it would rethink its approach to relations with Washington.

Russia on Wednesday announced it was recalling its ambassador in Washington for consultations after Mr Biden was asked in an interview whether he thought Russian President Vladimir Putin is a killer and said "I do".

Mr Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said it was a "very bad statement by the US president" that made it clear that "he doesn't want to normalise relations".

"We will proceed accordingly," Mr Peskov said in a conference call with reporters, noting that "there was nothing like that in history".

He would not answer if Russia could go as far as to rupture diplomatic ties with the United States.

Konstantin Kosachev, a deputy speaker of the Russian parliament's upper house, said Mr Biden's "boorish statement" marks a watershed.

"Such assessments are inadmissible for a statesman of his rank," Mr Kosachev said. "Such statements are unacceptable under any circumstances. They inevitably lead to a sharp exacerbation of our bilateral ties."

Mr Kosachev warned that Russia's response would not be limited to recalling the Russian ambassador "if the American side fails to offer explanation and excuse".

He would not elaborate on what other action the Kremlin may take.

While announcing the decision to recall the Russian ambassador in Washington, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova blamed the US for bringing bilateral ties to a "dead end", adding that "we are interested in preventing their irreversible degradation, if the Americans are aware of the associated risks".

Commenting on the Russian move on Wednesday, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki emphasised that "we will be direct, we will speak out on areas where we have concerns, and it will certainly be, as the president said last night - certainly, the Russians will be held accountable for the actions that they have taken".