Even before US President Joe Biden took the stage in the Polish capital Warsaw on Saturday night, it was announced that he would deliver an important speech.
While he was standing on the pulpit, he did not back down.
“For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power,” Biden said of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Biden concluded by calling for “a different future, a brighter future built on democracy and principle, and hope and light.”
If the goal of the speech was reconciliation, things did not go exactly as planned.
A huge political minefield
Shortly after Biden left the podium, his people had to come out and put out the fires. The president’s statements that Putin “cannot remain in power” drew a great deal of attention.
Many interpreted it as calling for the US president to change the regime in Russia. That the United States has a plan to overthrow Putin. The interference of the great powers in the affairs of other countries has hitherto been a huge political minefield. So the White House came out and President Biden confirmed that not Request a regime change in Russia.
The president’s point was that Putin could not be allowed to exercise power over his neighbors. He did not talk about Putin’s power in Russia, nor about regime change.
A White House spokesman said. It was not enough to stop the reaction to Biden’s speech. On Sunday morning, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, even the President’s Wonder Man, had to step into the square. This is despite the fact that he is making a trip to Jerusalem on a completely different mission.
Blinken said the United States had no strategy for regime change in Russia. It’s reports Reuters.
“I think the president, the White House, made it clear last night simply that President Putin cannot be empowered to wage war or act aggressively toward Ukraine or anyone else,” he said.
– You know, as you have heard us say over and over again, we do not have a strategy for regime change in Russia. Not anywhere else, for that matter.
The correction was clear enough. However, Biden’s allies are distancing themselves.
Macron has a clear message
French President Emmanuel Macron has been cautious in his approach to the conflict. In early March, his finance minister declared a “complete economic war” with Russia. He also had to correct the statement. He told AFP that the word “war” did not match France’s attempt to quell the invasion.
On Sunday morning, Macron distanced himself from Biden’s speech. He warned against escalating the war “verbally”. He said this to French Radio 3.
“I will not use those kind of words because I am still talking with President Putin,” he said.
Macron said the goal was a ceasefire and then the complete withdrawal of Russian soldiers from Ukraine by diplomatic means.
“If we want to achieve this, we cannot escalate the situation with words or deeds,” Macron said.
The statement drew attention. The two presidents are known to have a good tone.
British politicians also responded to the letter.
Britain’s Education Minister, Nadim al-Zahawi, said of Biden’s words:
“I think it’s up to the Russian people,” he told Sky News about Biden’s comment on regime change.
Conservative Representative Tobias Ellwood called Biden’s statement “unwise.” Writes Watchman. He argued that Putin would use Biden’s words to “dig and fight hard.”
Already now it can be confirmed that he is right.
Not up to Biden
Richard Haass, a former diplomat and chair of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), warns that Biden’s statement may lead Putin further from the path of peace. And certainly the biggest fear of the Russian president:
The United States is looking for Putin’s removal and systemic change in Russia.
The Write The Washington Post.
Putin’s supporters took a hard line against the speech. Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov made a brief statement to CNN after the speech. Biden’s comment that Putin cannot remain in power is answered as follows:
– Peskov said this is not something Biden can decide.
Other Russian politicians went further in condemning the speech. Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of the State Duma, called Biden “weak and sick.”
Psychiatrists will be better able to explain his behaviour. “American citizens should be ashamed of their president,” he said.
The statement comes as Putin’s citizens are fleeing their homeland as a result of the invasion. According to estimates, more than 200 thousand people have left Russia since the start of the war.
During the speech, Biden extended his hand to the average Russian.
essence of truth
David Rothkopf, a foreign analyst at the Rothkopf Group, believes commentary on regime change should not distract from the rest of Biden’s speech.
The Write The Washington Post.
Rothkopf compared Biden’s speech to that of former President John F. Kennedy in Berlin in 1963. There, Kennedy expressed his solidarity with the German people after World War II.
Biden did the same.
Biden emphasized that the Russian people are not our enemy.
– I refuse to believe that you welcome the killing of innocent children and grandparents, and that you accept that hospitals, schools and maternity wards have been razed to the ground by Russian bombs and missiles. This is exactly what the Russian army is doing in Ukraine now.
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