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Biden defends ‘Putin cannot remain in power’ comment

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J

oe Biden has defended his unscripted remarks during a speech in Poland, in which he said Russia’s Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power” by saying he was not calling for regime change but expressing his “moral outrage”.

The US President emphasised that the brutality of Russian attacks on Ukrainian cities, prompted his remarks but that there was no strategy to depose the Russian leader.

Biden said of his remarks in Poland: “I’m not walking anything back.”

He said: “I’m not walking anything back. I was expressing the moral outrage I felt toward the way Putin is dealing and the actions of this man, which is just brutality …. But I want to be clear that I wasn’t then nor am I now articulating a policy change.”

“I make no apologies for it,” he added.

He argued that Putin’s invasion of Ukraine was “totally unacceptable” and said the comment does not undermine diplomatic efforts by the US and European allies to pursue peace and negotiate an end to the brutality.

Biden was defiant and said he was not worried that his comments will be interpreted as a call for regime change or that it will be used by Russian propagandist.

“Nobody believes I was talking about taking down Putin…nobody believes that,” he said. “I was expressing my outrage at the behaviour of this man.”

Biden did not directly say whether he would be willing to meet with Putin, saying it would depend “on what he wants to talk about.”

The Kremlin responded to his comments on ‘remaining in power’ by branding them as “alarming”.

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