Outrage continues in Russia over US President Joe Biden’s statements about Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin remaining in power. Biden makes statements and mistakes with “frightening regularity” that are worse than crimes, said prominent Russian foreign politician Konstantin Kosachev.
Kosachev was responding to Biden’s words that Putin could not stay in office due to the war in Ukraine. There were times when the word of a US president carried weight, but that is past, said the chairman of the Russian Federation Council’s foreign affairs committee.
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The Kremlin also made it clear on Sunday night that it was not the United States that decided the leadership in Russia. “Biden doesn’t decide that, the president of Russia is elected by the Russian people,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said after Biden’s speech in Poland.
The head of the Russian parliament, Vyacheslav Volodin, accused the US president of “undiplomatic statements” and “hysteria”. “Biden is weak, sick and unhappy,” Volodin commented on Telegram. “American citizens should be ashamed of their president. Maybe he is sick. It would be right for Biden to be medically examined.” Putin, on the other hand, deserves respect for his “moderation.”
The US president had said against a historic backdrop in the inner courtyard of the Royal Castle in Warsaw: “For God’s sake, this man cannot stay in power.” Biden had also previously described Putin as a “butcher”, “war criminal” and “murderous dictator”. Russia had recently warned against severing diplomatic ties due to massive tensions with the United States.
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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was cautious about Biden’s statements. “As you know, and as you hear us say repeatedly, we don’t have a strategy for regime change in Russia or anywhere else,” Blinken told reporters in Jerusalem on Sunday.
“I think the president, the White House, indicated last night that President Putin simply cannot be authorized to go to war or to attack Ukraine or anyone else,” Blinken said.
The US president’s office had already tried Saturday night to clarify Biden’s statement. Biden did not call for regime change. Rather, what he meant by his statement was that Putin should not exercise any power over his neighboring countries or the region. (AP, Reuters)