The White House has issued a clarification to President Biden’s recent speech condemning the Russian invasion of Ukrainein which he declared that Vladimir Putin “can not remain in power”.
Washington was quick to calm down on the comments, insisting that the US president did not call for a regime change.
In a passionate speech in Warsaw, Sir. Biden appealed directly to the Russian people by comparing invasion of Ukraine with the horrors of World War II.
“For God’s sake, this man can not remain in power,” the US president said at the end of his speech, after describing the Russian president as a “butcher”.
The remark, which is believed to be unwritten, prompted the White House to immediately issue a clarification for fear that Biden’s comment would antagonize the Kremlin.
A White House official tried to dilute the comments, arguing that the US president’s point was that the Russian leader “can not be allowed to exercise power over his neighbors or the region.”
“He did not discuss Putin’s power in Russia or regime change,” the official added, before reports in the United States suggested that those remarks were not written.
But Moscow was quick to condemn Mr Biden’s inflammatory remark.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “It is not up to the President of the United States and it is not up to the Americans to decide who remains in power in Russia.”
Sir. Biden’s comment also led to condemnation from American veteran Richard Haass.
He said the comments “made a difficult situation more difficult and a dangerous situation more dangerous”.
Sir. Haass, president of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations, tweeted his concerns that Mr. Biden “had just expanded U.S. war goals and called for regime change.”
“No matter how desirable it is, it is not within our power to achieve – plus it risks increasing Putin’s propensity to see this as a battle in the end, raising the odds that he will reject compromise, escalate or both. he added.
“Our interests are to end the war on terms that Ukraine can accept, and to counter Russian escalation. Today’s call for regime change is not in line with these goals.”
Sir. Haass continued to tell Political that a senior Biden official, possibly even Foreign Minister Antony Blinken, had to contact their Russian counterpart immediately and explain that the president’s comment does not reflect US policy.
“The fact that it was so off-script in some ways makes it worse,” because it could be read as Mr. Biden’s genuine conviction as opposed to his script words, he said.
The veteran US diplomat suggested that White Back’s clarification is “unlikely to be washed”, adding: “Putin will see it as a confirmation of what he has been thinking all along. Poor lapse of discipline that risks prolonging the scope and duration of the war. “
Education Minister Nadhim Zahawi asked if the British government agreed with Mr Biden that President Putin “can not remain in power”, saying: “I think it is up to the Russian people.
“The Russian people, I think, are quite tired of what is happening in Ukraine, this illegal invasion, the destruction of their own livelihoods, their economy is collapsing around them, and I think the Russian people will decide Putin. and his fate. comrades. “
Zahawi added that there is “evidence that war crimes have been committed in Ukraine”.
The pressure further on the US President’s comments on regime change in Russia, Mr Zahawi said Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday program: “It’s an illegal invasion of Ukraine, and it must end, and I think that was what the President was talking about.”
Asked if Mr Biden was wrong in saying what he did, Mr Zahawi replied: “No, what I’m saying to you is that the White House has been very clear on this, the President gave a very powerful speech on “and I think both the United States and the United Kingdom agree that it is up to the Russian people to decide who will govern them.”