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US has no 'strategy of regime change in Russia': Blinken

27.03.2022 11:00
Washington has no strategy of regime change for Moscow, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday after President Joe Biden said in Warsaw the previous day that Russia's Vladimir Putin "cannot remain in power."
US President Joe Biden delivers a speech in Warsaw on Saturday, March 26, 2022.
US President Joe Biden delivers a speech in Warsaw on Saturday, March 26, 2022.Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka

In a major speech in the Polish capital on Saturday, Biden told the world that Putin should no longer remain in power amid Russia's brutal war against Ukraine.

"For God's sake, this man cannot remain in power," Biden said at the close of his address outside Warsaw's Royal Castle during a two-day visit to Poland.

Blinken told reporters on Sunday that Biden "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," according to the Reuters news agency.

"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," Blinken said, as quoted by Reuters.

US President Joe Biden (right) and Secretary of State Antony Blinken (left) take part in a bilateral meeting with Polish officials in Warsaw on Saturday, March 26, 2022. US President Joe Biden (right) and Secretary of State Antony Blinken (left) take part in a bilateral meeting with Polish officials in Warsaw on Saturday, March 26, 2022. Photo: PAP/Leszek Szymański

A White House official earlier told the media that Biden "was not discussing Putin's power in Russia, or regime change," but his "point was that Putin cannot be allowed to exercise power over his neighbors or the region," according to broadcaster CNN.

'We stand with you'

In his address in Warsaw on Saturday, Biden stated emphatically that "Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia, for free people refuse to live in a world of hopelessness and darkness."

"My message to the people of Ukraine is ... we stand with you," he declared. "Period."

He called on allies to be “clear eyed” in a “battle between democracy and autocracy, between liberty and repression.”

“We will have a different future, a brighter future, rooted in democracy and principle, hope and light, of decency and dignity of freedom and possibilities," Biden told those gathered in front of the Royal Castle in the Polish capital.

He also said that Ukraine and its people were "on the frontlines fighting to save their nation" in the "perennial struggle" for democracy and freedom.

"And their brave resistance is part of a larger fight for an essential democratic principles that unite all free people: the rule of law; free and fair elections; the freedom to speak, to write, and to assemble; the freedom to worship as one chooses; freedom of the press," he said.

He added: "These principles are essential in a free society. But they have always — they have always been under siege. They’ve always been embattled. Every generation has had to defeat democracy’s mortal foes.  That’s the way of the world — for the world is imperfect, as we know. Where the appetites and ambitions of a few forever seek to dominate the lives and liberties of many."

Addressing the Russian people, Biden said: “This is not who you are. This is not the future you deserve for your families and your children. I’m telling you the truth. This war is not worthy of you, the Russian people. Putin can and must end this war. The American people will stand with you.”

US President Joe Biden delivers a speech outside the Royal Castle in Warsaw on Saturday. US President Joe Biden in Warsaw: "Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia." Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka

'Sacred obligation under Article 5'

He also said in his address that the United States and its allies had "a sacred obligation under Article 5 to defend each and every inch of NATO territory with the full force of our collective power."

Article 5 of the Washington Treaty guarantees collective defence by stating that an armed attack against one NATO member state “shall be considered an attack against them all.”

"Don’t even think about moving on one single inch of NATO territory," Biden said in his Warsaw speech, in an apparent message to Putin.

Earlier on Saturday, Biden reassured Polish leaders that NATO's Article 5 was "a sacred commitment, not a throwaway, a sacred commitment that relates to every member of NATO."

He added that allies must remain "absolutely, completely thoroughly united."

He told Polish leaders he was confident that Putin "was counting on dividing NATO," but "he hasn’t been able to do it. We’ve all stayed together.”


Source: IAR, PAP, TVP Info, CNN, Reuters, whitehouse.gov