Harris says Biden administration ‘not into regime change’

Vice President Harris speaks during an event with President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to sign an executive order regarding project labor agreements at Irownworks Local 5 in Upper Marlboro, Md., on Friday, February 4, 2022.
Greg Nash

Vice President Harris said that the Biden administration was not looking for a regime change in Russia after President Biden’s remarks about Russian President Vladimir Putin during a speech he made last week in Warsaw, Poland.

Following several meetings with allies in Europe last week, Biden gave a speech in front of the presidential palace in Warsaw on the Russian invasion in Ukraine.

“Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia, for free people refuse to live in a world of hopelessness and darkness. We will have a different future, a brighter future, rooted in democracy and principles, hope and light, of decency and dignity, of freedom, and possibilities,” Biden said Saturday night. “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.”

On an interview with Joy Reid, the host of MSNBC’s show “The ReidOut,” Harris sought to underscore that the administration is not calling for a regime change.

“Let me be very clear. We are not into regime change. And that is not our policy. Period,” Harris told Reid.

“Our policy from the beginning has been about ensuring that there are going to be real costs exacted against Russia in the form of severe sanctions, which we know are having a real impact and an immediate impact, not to mention the longer-term impact, which is about saying there’s going to be consequence and accountability when you commit the kinds of atrocities that he is committing.”

Biden’s comment in Poland sparked widespread controversy.

The White House immediately attempted to walk back the statement, with Biden also clarifying he was not changing the U.S.’s position on regime change. 

“I think the president, the White House, 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,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said after the incident.

Biden has previously called Putin a “war criminal” for his actions in Ukraine as the U.S. has said Russia is committing human rights violations in the war. 

Tags Antony Blinken Antony Blinken Joe Biden Joe Biden Joy Reid Kamala Harris Kamala Harris Poland regime change russia Vladimir Putin Vladimir Putin

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