After Biden says Putin ‘can not remain in power', a swift clarification from White House

Mar 27, 2022 11:01 AM IST

US President Joe Biden said during his speech in Poland that Russia’s Vladimir Putin “can not remain in power”, triggering speculations whether US commander'-in-chief was calling for regime change.

The White House clarified US President Joe Biden’s declaration that Russia’s Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power” was not a call for regime change. On Saturday, Biden escalated his rhetoric against Putin as he apparently called for the Russian leader’s removal because of his invasion of Ukraine.

US President Joe Biden (R) and Polish President Andrzej Duda review a military honour guard during an official welcoming ceremony.(AFP)
US President Joe Biden (R) and Polish President Andrzej Duda review a military honour guard during an official welcoming ceremony.(AFP)

“For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power," Biden’s said at end of a speech in Poland's capital as the US president capped his four-day trip to Europe.

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A White House official clarified saying, "The President's point was that Putin cannot be allowed to exercise power over his neighbours or the region. He was not discussing Putin's power in Russia, or regime change."

The official added that Biden's line was not in his prepared remarks in which the US president said that Putin is lying in a bid to justify the war.

Biden chided Russia’s action in Ukraine saying "It's nothing less than a direct challenge to the rules-based international order established since the end of World War II, and it threatens to return to decades of war that ravaged Europe before the international rule-based order was put in place. We cannot go back to that. We cannot."

Biden’s remark prompted a swift reaction from Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov who said it is not to be decided by Biden.

"This is not to be decided by Mr Biden," Peskov said. "It should only be a choice of the people of the Russian Federation."

Meanwhile, Russia signalled a potential new front in the invasion of Ukraine as rockets struck the western Ukrainian city of Lviv. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reiterated his demand from Western nations to send military hardware, asking whether they were intimidated by Moscow.

"We've already been waiting 31 days," Zelensky said during his nightly address.

(With inputs from agencies)

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