After Biden’s Fiery Speech, Nine Unscripted Words Reverberate

“The government has done everything it can to stop the escalation — there’s not much more you can do to escalate it than advocate for regime change,” he told CNN’s State of the Union address.

Texas Representative Michael McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, suggested the impromptu comment threatened to overshadow discussions about how Ukraine can continue to help in its fight against Russia.

Most of the comments on Sunday did not appear to significantly undermine the government’s relationship with allies that helped impose sanctions against Russia.

Mr Biden had used words “which should clearly make Putin understand that he has to stop,” Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said. said on Saturday nightt. Mr Biden gave “a very clear speech, he used resolute words,” said Mr Di Maio. “But let’s not forget that, on the other hand, Putin uses bombs.”

Nadhim Zahawi, Britain’s education minister, echoed the White House’s clarification, saying he was sure both the United States and Britain agreed that the Russian people should decide how they wanted to be governed.

“The Russian people will decide the fate of Putin and his cronies,” Zahawi said.

And Julianne Smith, the US ambassador to NATO, suggested that Mr. Biden’s statement was in response to the human cost of war he had experienced during the three-day diplomatic trip to Europe. She noted that Mr Biden had visited refugees before his speech in Warsaw, saying his comments were “a human response in principle”.

But, she insisted on the State of the Union, “the US has no policy of regime change in Russia. Point.”

Reporting contributed by Jonathan MartinChris CameronEmma Bubola and Lara Jakes

SOURCE – www.nytimes.com

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