President Joe Biden harshly critiqued Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday, referring to the leader as “a dictator.” Biden made these statements while explaining his decision to allow Ukraine to use U.S. weapons to carry out limited strikes in Russia.

The president explained that he’s known Putin for “over 40 years—he’s concerned me for 40 years.” He also said that Putin is “a dictator, and he’s struggling to make sure he holds his country together while still keeping this assault going.”

Biden’s critique follows Putin’s warning to Western countries on Wednesday. In the annual economic forum in St. Petersburg, the Russian leader told editors: “Supplying weapons to a conflict zone is always a bad thing.”

Putin had stated that these countries were taking a “very serious and dangerous step,” and he explained that the act of supplying weapons could result in Moscow’s arming of their enemies.

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The US-made weapons would be restricted in Russia. Ukraine would instead use them to strike across the border, where most of the Russian attacks have originated.

This decision comes after the advances that Russia made toward Kharkiv, the second-largest Ukrainian city. Kharkiv is in northeastern Ukraine and lies close to the Russian border. The use of these weapons would be contained to a small area surrounding the city, and the U.S. is not anticipated to widen the area of use.

The U.S. also faced pressure from members of NATO to supply weapons after the Ukrainian officials emphasized the importance of protecting Kharkiv.

The limits of use prevent Ukraine from using the weapons to cause damage deep into Russia and were made with the intent to avoid the escalation of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

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