US secretary of state Anthony Blinken is trying to walk back Joe Biden’s comment that Vladimir Putin ‘cannot remain in power‘.
Biden called for Russian President Vladimir Putin to be deposed in a direct appeal to the Russian people during a speech in Warsaw on Saturday.
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“For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power,” Biden declared at the end of an emotional speech in the Polish capital’s Royal Castle.
However, the US secretary of state has insisted President Joe Biden did not mean to suggest Washington aims to oust Vladimir Putin as Russia’s leader and stood by previous assertions that the US does not have a strategy of regime change for Moscow.
RT reports: US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken made his comments at a press conference on Sunday in Jerusalem, hours after Biden raised eyebrows during an emotional speech in Warsaw about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Biden said of President Putin, “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.”
An unidentified White House official quickly tried to clarify the US position, saying Biden’s point was that Putin can’t be allowed to exercise power over neighboring countries. On Sunday, Blinken continued the effort to walk back Biden’s comments.
“I think the president, the White House, made the point last night that, quite simply, President Putin cannot be empowered to wage war or engage in aggression against Ukraine or anyone else,” Blinken told reporters. “As you know, and as you have heard us say repeatedly, we do not have a strategy of regime change in Russia – or anywhere else, for that matter.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded to Biden’s speech, saying, “It’s not up to the president of the US and not up to the Americans to decide who will remain in power in Russia. Only Russians, who vote for their president, can decide that.”
During his visit to Israel, Blinken claimed to agree with that position, saying, “In this case, as in any case, it’s up to the people of the country in question. It’s up to the Russian people.”
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