Sunday June 26, 2022 12:59 PM

You can’t remove Putin as President- US official counters Biden

US ambassador to NATO, Jalianne Smith, has countered US President Joe Biden’s statement that Vladimir Putin can no longer remain as Russian President.

The Biden government has continued on Sunday to clean up the President’s off-the-cuff remark he made in Warsaw on Saturday when he visited Ukrainian refugees in Poland saying Putin “cannot remain in power.”

Smith, however, said the surprising comments by the US leader was a “principled human reaction,” made after he spent the day seeing the firsthand tragedies of war, when he visited with hundreds of Ukranian refugees,” the ambassador told CNN.

“He went to the National Stadium in Warsaw and literally met with hundreds of Ukrainians. He heard their heroic stories as they were fleeing Ukraine in the wake of Russia’s brutal war in Ukraine.

“In the moment, I think that was a principled human reaction to the stories that he had heard that day.”

Still, Smith said, the “US does not have a policy of regime change in Russia, full stop.”

Her comments come hours after Secretary of State Antony Blinken also tried to downplay the President’s remarks while in Israel, saying, “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.”

Smith continued, “The full administration, the President included, believes that we cannot empower Putin right now to wage war in Ukraine or pursue these acts of aggression.”

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