The US is not looking to pursue regime change in Russia in spite of comments made by Joe Biden yesterday, secretary of state Antony Blinken has said.
The US President said last night in Warsaw that Putin was a “butcher” who “cannot remain in power”, before White House officials quickly backtracked and said Biden was not referring to “regime change” in Russia.
Blinken told journalists on a trip to Israel that “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”.
“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,” he said.
Biden said last night that the West would launch military action against Russia if Putin moved his army “one single inch of Nato territory”.
“For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power,” he said.
Biden added: “Putin has the gall to say he’s denazifying Ukraine. It’s a lie, it’s just cynical — he knows that.
“And it’s also obscene. President Zelensky was democratically elected, he’s Jewish, his father’s family was wiped out in the Nazi Holocaust and Putin has the audacity — like all autocrats before him — to believe that might will make right.”
The speech drew a furious response from the Kremlin, with Putin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov saying “this not to be decided by Mr Biden”.
“It should only be a choice of the people of the Russian Federation,” he said.