An American woman who accused US President Joe Biden of sexually assaulting her has flown to Moscow and is seeking Russian citizenship.
Speaking to a state-run Russian news outlet, Tara Reade, 59, said she felt safe in the country and wanted to stay.
Ms Reade alleged Mr Biden assaulted her while she was working in his congressional office in 1993.
He strongly denied her allegation. “Unequivocally it never, never happened,” he said.
Ms Reade worked as an assistant to Mr Biden when he was a senator for Delaware. She made headlines in 2020 as his presidential campaign was getting underway, when she claimed that he assaulted her in a Capitol Hill corridor when she was 29.
She accused him of forcing her against a wall and putting his hands under her shirt and skirt.
“When I got off the plane in Moscow, for the first time in a very long time I felt safe, and I felt heard and felt respected,” The Guardian newspaper quotes Ms Reade as saying during an interview with Sputnik.
She said she left the US after a Republican politician told her she was in physical danger.
“[I’d] like to apply for citizenship in Russia, from the president of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin… I do promise to be a good citizen,” Ms Reade said, adding that she hoped to keep her US citizenship.
Ms Reade was one of several women who came forward in 2019 and 2020 to accuse Mr Biden of inappropriate touching, hugging or kissing. She said she had filed a complaint, although no record of this has been found and it is unclear if her claim was formally investigated.
A spokesperson for Mr Biden said he believed women “have a right to be heard” but that the alleged incident “absolutely did not happen”.
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