Blinken Says US Has No Strategy To End Putin’s Reign
The US has no strategy of regime change for Russia, secretary of state Antony Blinken told reporters on Sunday after president Joe Biden said Russian Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power”.
“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,” Blinken said during a visit to Jerusalem.
“As you know, and as you have heard us say repeatedly, we do not have a strategy of regime change in Russia – or anywhere else, for that matter.”
The Russian-backed self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine could hold a referendum soon on joining Russia, the rebel region’s news outlet cited local leader Leonid Pasechnik as saying on Sunday.
“I think that in the near future a referendum will be held on the territory of the republic,” Pasechnik said. “The people will exercise their ultimate constitutional right and express their opinion on joining the Russian Federation.”
Russia last month recognised Luhansk and Donetsk’s self-proclaimed republics as independent and ordered what it called a peacekeeping operation in the region shortly after, Reuters reported.