President Joe Biden’s call for regime change in Russia could embolden Russian President Vladimir Putin to escalate war tensions with NATO.
On Monday, Western NATO allies France and Germany tamped down President Biden’s Saturday assertion that regime change is needed in Russia, a statement the White House immediately retracted. Nevertheless, world leaders felt the need to respond to Biden’s statement by suggesting his words “could make it harder to resolve the conflict,” the Associated Press reported.
French President Emanuel Macron feared Biden’s remarks could embolden Putin and escalate the Ukrainian war. Macron urged caution from the U.S.
“I wouldn’t use those terms, because I continue to speak to President Putin, because what do we want to do collectively?” Macron said. “We want to stop the war that Russia launched in Ukraine, without waging war and without escalation.”
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz also felt the need to comment on Biden’s remarks over fears that Biden’s loose talk could embolden Putin’s aggression toward Ukraine. “We both agree completely that regime change is not an object and aim of policy that we pursue together,” Scholz said in reference to a potential escalation.
Biden’s statement that Putin “cannot remain in power” was just one mistake he made during last week’s symbolic foreign mission to stabilize the region. Instead of projecting calm and steadiness, the AP noted Biden’s trip “created a troubling distraction, undermining his effectiveness as he returned home to face restive Americans who strongly disapprove of his performance on issues that matter most to them.”
On Thursday, during a news conference in Brussels, Biden promised he would respond “in kind” if Putin deployed chemical weapons against Ukrainians, meaning that Biden would potentially use chemical weapons against Russia. The White House walked back the statement the next day.
After that incident, Biden told the 82nd Airborne Division in Poland that they may be deployed to Ukraine, a statement that contradicted Biden’s promise not to send Americans to die for Ukrainian borders.
“Look at how they’re stepping up. And you’re going to see when you’re there [Ukraine],” Biden said. The White House immediately retracted Biden’s statement.
Recent NBC News polling revealed 71 percent of Americans have low confidence in Biden’s ability to deal with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In addition, last week’s polling by AP-NORC showed only 26 percent of Americans believe Biden can successfully manage the potential for escalation with Putin.