Friends & Foes Alike React With Alarm to Biden’s Apparent Call For Regime Change in Russia

© REUTERS / ALEKSANDRA SZMIGIELU.S. President Joe Biden speaks during an event at the Royal Castle, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Warsaw, Poland, March 26, 2022.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during an event at the Royal Castle, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Warsaw, Poland, March 26, 2022. - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.03.2022
Biden’s insistence that Russian President Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power” was met with horror by numerous US and European leaders, leaving Biden’s allies with little choice but to downplay the apparent demand for regime change in Russia.
US President Joe Biden created a “risk to national security,” wrote Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) Sunday.

“I wouldn’t use this kind of words,” French President Emmanuel Macron explained the same day. “Another regime change war. The target? Nuclear-armed Russia,” wrote former Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

No matter which side of the aisle you’re on–or which side of the Atlantic–it was obvious that Joe Biden’s apparent endorsement of regime change in Russia was, at the very least, a strategic mistake. For many, it’s much more: proof of what a number of political analysts and policymakers have long argued, and apparent confirmation of what Niall Ferguson wrote in Bloomberg on Tuesday.

“The only end game now,” a senior [US] administration official was heard saying at a private event earlier this month, “is the end of Putin regime.”

The Russian government’s response was swift and unequivocal. Noting that it was “unbecoming for the president of the US to make such statements,” Russian government spokesman Dmitry Peskov explained Saturday that “it's not up to the president of the U.S. and not up to the Americans to decide who will remain in power in Russia. Only Russians… can decide that.”
Even stalwart anti-Russian nations like the United Kingdom seemed to agree with Moscow's assessment. It’s “for the Russian people to decide how they are governed,” UK education secretary Nadhim Zahawi said Sunday.
Attempts at damage control from across the pond came just as swiftly. Biden “was not discussing Putin's power in Russia, or regime change,” a White House official insisted Saturday. “We do not have a strategy of regime change in Russia, or anywhere else,” US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken claimed a day later.
While the news that the US doesn’t have a strategy of regime change “anywhere” might come as a surprise to citizens of countries like Iran, Venezuela, and Syria–nations whose governments the US has worked openly to oust for years–even in the US, it was greeted with skepticism.
To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала