US President Biden: Putin cannot remain in power

Biden and Duda will meet and expected to address a dust-up over arming Ukraine with warplanes. * Biden called Russian President Vladimir Putin a "butcher" * US to accept 100,000 Ukrainian refugees

 US President Joe Biden, flanked by Polish Prime MInister Mateusz Morawiecki, holds a child as he visits Ukrainian refugees at the PGE National Stadium, in Warsaw, Poland March 26, 2022.  (photo credit: REUTERS/EVELYN HOCKSTEIN)
US President Joe Biden, flanked by Polish Prime MInister Mateusz Morawiecki, holds a child as he visits Ukrainian refugees at the PGE National Stadium, in Warsaw, Poland March 26, 2022.

Russian President Vladimir Putin could not remain in power, and his war against Ukraine has been a strategic failure for Moscow, US President Joe Biden said on Saturday.

"For God's sake, this man cannot remain in power," Biden told a crowd in Warsaw. Biden also said the Russia-Ukraine war, now in its second month, had united the West, adding that NATO was a defensive alliance which never sought Russia's demise.

US President Joe Biden spoke with top Ukrainian government officials in Warsaw on Saturday during his visit to Poland to show support for the NATO alliance's eastern flank in the face of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

During the conversation, he called Russian President Vladimir Putin a "butcher," and said he was not sure Russia was changing its strategy in Ukraine to focus on efforts to "liberate" the breakaway eastern Donbass region, despite getting bogged down in some areas.

Biden dropped in on a meeting between Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

The United States expressed "unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity," State Department spokesman Ned Price said.

Kuleba told reporters that Ukraine had received additional security pledges from the United States on developing defense co-operation. Later in the day Biden will give what his aides have billed as a major speech.

Putin's Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, which Russia calls a "special operation," has tested Biden's promise when he took office last year to confront autocrats including the Russian president and China's leader Xi Jinping.

The White House said that in his speech later on Saturday Biden "will deliver remarks on the united efforts of the free world to support the people of Ukraine, hold Russia accountable for its brutal war, and defend a future that is rooted in democratic principles."

Poland was until the collapse of communist rule in 1989 behind the Iron Curtain for four decades, under Soviet influence and a member of the Moscow-led Warsaw Pact security alliance. It is now the biggest formerly communist member of the European Union and NATO.

The rise of rightwing populism in Poland in recent years has put it in conflict with the European Union and Washington, but the threat of Russia pressing beyond its borders has drawn Poland closer to its Western neighbors.

Biden’s election put the nationalist Law and Justice government in an awkward position after it had set great store in its relationship with his predecessor Donald Trump.

But as tensions with Russia rose before it invaded Ukraine, Duda appeared to seek to smooth relations with Washington. In December, he vetoed legislation that critics said aimed to silence a US-owned 24-hour news broadcaster.

Biden had stated two days ago that the US will welcome 100,000 Ukrainian refugees, and that they "already have 8,000 a week coming," the White House said.


Biden and Duda will meet privately and are expected to address a dust-up over how to arm Ukraine with warplanes, and other security guarantees.

Washington, seeking to avoid a direct conflict with Russia, earlier this month rejected a surprise offer by Poland to transfer Russian-made MiG-29 fighter jets to a US base in Germany to be used to replenish Ukraine's air force.

Now, Poland wants to accelerate the purchase of US-made Patriot missiles, F35 fighter jets and tanks for its own security, and seek reassurance on NATO commitments to defend its members.


The Russian central bank said on Saturday that the Moscow Exchange will resume trading on Monday, with Russian shares and bonds in normal mode, albeit for half a day.

It said the trading session will last from 9:50 a.m. until 1:50 p.m. Moscow time (0650-1050 GMT).

The Russian market is gradually reopening and returning to normal after a suspension caused by sweeping Western sanctions that followed the beginning of what Russia calls "a special operation" in Ukraine on Feb. 24.

Russia partially resumed some stock trading on Thursday after a near month-long hiatus. On Friday, stocks fell on their second day of trading with losses led by flag carrier Aeroflot

Non-residents will still have to wait, though - they will be barred from selling stocks and OFZ rouble bonds until April 1. A ban on short selling also remained.