Blinken: US not seeking regime change in Russia

Associated Press / Jacquelyn Martin

Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters Sunday that the U.S. has no plans for regime change in Russia a day after President Biden declared that Russian President Vladimir Putin can’t remain in power.

“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,” Blinken said during a visit to Jerusalem.

“As you know, and as you have heard us say repeatedly, we do not have a strategy of regime change in Russia — or anywhere else, for that matter,” Blinken added. 

“In this case, as in any case, it’s up to the people of the country in question. It’s up to the Russian people.”

Blinken also said the administration’s strategy to support Ukraine while rallying partners and allies is having a “meaningful impact on Ukraine’s ability to defend itself from this onslaught of planes and tanks and other weapons.”

“We have a strategy to put unprecedented pressure on Russia, and we’re carrying that forward,” he said. “And we have a strategy to make sure that we’re providing all of the humanitarian support that we can, and we have a strategy to reinforce NATO.”

His statements come after Biden said Saturday that Putin can’t remain in power.

“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 after NATO allies met last week for an emergency meeting on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

“For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power,” Biden added.

However, the White House tried to walk back on those statements later the same day, with a White House official saying that comment was referring to Putin exercising power outside of Russia.

— Updated at 8:35 a.m.

Tags Antony Blinken Blinken Joe Biden Russia Ukraine Vladimir Putin

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