It seems Moscow is ready to play it cool as the world awaits a definitive response to President Joe Biden's 'shock' Saturday comments calling for regime change in Russia. "For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power," Biden said of Putin to conclude his major Saturday Warsaw address on the Ukraine war.
The response so far has merely been one of "alarm" - according to a statement, and that's it. "The Kremlin said on Monday that U.S. President Joe Biden’s remark that Vladimir Putin could not remain in power was a cause for alarm, a measured response to a public call from the United States for an end to Putin’s 22-year rule," Reuters writes.
Biden says “no” he wasn’t calling for regime change, which is a total lie.— Kyle Martinsen (@KyleMartinsen_) March 27, 2022
He literally said, “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power”
Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in televised remarks: "This is a statement that is certainly alarming, and added: "We will continue to track the statements of the U.S. president in the most attentive ways."
The much less fiery than expected response is perhaps due to the White House rapidly seeking to walk back Biden's words within the very hour he uttered the sentence. And Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Sunday interviews said, "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."
White House officials attempted to paint Biden's words as pertaining to Putin's regional power aspirations and not domestically, despite the clearness of the initial speech delivered in Poland. It appears that perhaps on this basis, the Kremlin is not seeking to escalate this path of dangerous rhetoric, also coming after recent warnings that Russia is prepared to severe all diplomatic relations with Washington.
As recently as Sunday while Biden was leaving church he was asked from a distance by a reporter on whether he was calling for regime change in the prior Putin remarks. "No!" the president shouted back, in a one-word answer.
Biden said the quiet part out loud “[Putin] cannot remain in power” & now everyone knows the real intention is “Regime Change” in Russia. No amount of spin can change that now. U.S. is run by warmongering psychos pic.twitter.com/Z5NOfcG88E https://t.co/ZnZeOu1fB9— Jimmy Dore (@jimmy_dore) March 26, 2022
Still, many pundits remain unconvinced. For example progressive political commentator and comedian Jimmy Dore observed that "Biden said the quiet part out loud... no amount of spin can change that now." He further quipped the "US is run by warmongering psychos."