US diplomats say there is no US policy of regime change in Russia

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during an event at the Royal Castle, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in Warsaw, Poland March 26, 2022. REUTERS/Aleksandra Szmigiel/File Photo

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WASHINGTON, March 27 (Reuters) – Senior U.S. officials clarified on Sunday that the United States has no policy of regime change in Russia, as supporters and critics of President Joe Biden downplayed his claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin “cannot stay in Russia”. Power.”

Biden’s comments in Poland on Saturday also included a statement calling Putin a “butcher” and appeared to be a sharp escalation of the US approach to Moscow regarding its invasion of Ukraine. Read more

Julianne Smith, the US ambassador to NATO, sought to contextualize Biden’s remarks, saying they followed a day of talks with Ukrainian refugees in Warsaw. The month-old Russian invasion has driven a quarter of Ukraine’s 44 million people from their homes.

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“At the moment, I think it was a principled human reaction to the stories he heard that day,” Smith told CNN’s ‘State of the Union’ before adding, ” The United States has no regime change policy in Russia. . Full stop.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told a press conference in Jerusalem that Biden was arguing that Putin could not be empowered to go to war. But Blinken said any decision on Russia’s future leadership would be “up to the Russian people”.

Republicans have adamantly declared Biden’s remarks an unfortunate mistake.

Sen. James Risch, the top Republican on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called Biden’s remarks a “horrible blunder” and said he wished the president had stayed on the script.

“Most people who don’t deal in foreign relations don’t realize that those nine words he said would cause the kind of blowout that they did,” he told CNN.

“It’s going to cause a huge problem.”

Senator Rob Portman, who also sits on the committee, lamented the public wartime faux pas.

“It’s playing into Russian propagandists’ hands and playing into Vladimir Putin’s hands. So it was a mistake,” Portman told NBC’s “Meet the Press” show.

UKRAINIAN RESISTANCE

The United States has sought to strike a balance during the conflict in Ukraine to avoid a direct military confrontation with Russia, accelerating arms deliveries to kyiv to help its military fight, but ruling out sending troops to the country or the imposition of a no-fly zone.

This support bolstered a fiercer Ukrainian resistance than expected, and Russia failed to capture any major Ukrainian cities after more than four weeks of fighting.

Ukraine’s Ambassador to the United States Oksana Markarova did not call for regime change in interviews on Sunday news programs in the United States, but warned that it was difficult to imagine Putin staying in power in a civilized world.

“It is clear to us that Russia is a terrorist state led by a war criminal… And everyone must be brought to justice,” Markarova said.

“So I think it will be difficult to run a state from The Hague.”

Sen. Cory Booker, one of Biden’s Democratic colleagues and a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said on “Meet the Press” that while regime change was not American policy, he did not see the war in Ukraine end well for Putin.

“I don’t see any real victory for him. His country is suffering tremendously. He is draining his own nation’s essential resources for this horrible war. So I don’t see how this will end well for him,” Booker said.

The conflict has killed thousands, sent nearly 3.8 million people abroad and driven more than half of Ukrainian children from their homes, according to the United Nations.

Moscow says the goals of what Putin calls a “special military operation” include the demilitarization and “denazification” of its neighbor. Ukraine and its Western allies call it a pretext for an unprovoked invasion.

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Reporting by Phil Stewart, Brendan O’Brien; additional reporting by Humeyra Pamuk in JERUSALEM, editing by Diane Craft and Paul Simao

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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