Regime change in Russia is not a NATO objective, despite Moscow invading Ukraine, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Sunday, a day after US President Joe Biden branded Vladimir Putin as a “butcher” who “cannot stay in power”.
It is “not the objective of NATO, nor of the US president”, Scholz told German state television channel ARD.
“I had the opportunity to speak at length with him in the White House and we have also discussed this question,” he added.
The White House moved swiftly Saturday to dismiss Biden’s comments during a spirited speech in Warsaw.
After denouncing the Russian president as a “butcher” for his aggression on Ukraine, Biden said at the end of his speech: “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.”
“Democracy, freedom and justice have a future everywhere,” Scholz said Sunday.
“But it is for the people and the country to fight for this freedom,” he added.
Scholz’s comments follow a statement earlier Sunday by French President Emmanuel Macron, in which he warned of a verbal “escalation” with Putin.
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