Poland visit: did Biden find the right words?

During his speech in Poland, Biden stressed that the Western military alliance would defend every inch of Nato territory. However, two remarks in which he called Putin "a butcher" and declared that he "cannot remain in power" caused more of a stir. Europe's press examines the consequences.

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Corriere della Sera (IT) /

First unite then polarise

Biden's behaviour is contradictory, says Corriere della Sera:

“These words were not in the original text and represent a drastic departure from the message prepared by the White House. Biden had visited first Brussels and then Poland to unite the allies, to assure the Ukrainian resistance of more weapons and to curb the pressure of the Eastern countries, which are demanding greater Nato involvement in the war. When he departed on Saturday evening, however, he left us with the feeling of going back to old times: Manoeuvres, plots hatched by the CIA to overthrow the governments that stood in the way of American interests.”

Süddeutsche Zeitung (DE) /

The bitter truth

For the Süddeutsche Zeitung the statement about a change of government was unwise but not wrong:

“Biden's sentence was not a threat to Putin personally, not an inadvertent admission that the US is in fact working to overthrow the Russian president - even if that's what Putin-friendly conspiracy-mongers are now claiming. How would such a change of regime work in practice? Biden has long ruled out American intervention like those in Iraq or Libya. Instead, in Warsaw he spoke a truth that is as simple as it is bitter and from which every government must draw its own conclusions: as long as Vladimir Putin is in power, Europe will not be able to live in peace.”

Denník N (SK) /

Suspicions about intervention will always exist

Speculation would be rife even without Biden's controversial remark, Denník N is convinced:

“Never has it been clearer that it would be best for Ukraine, Russia and the world if Putin did not remain in power. Only the Russians can vote on this in elections, however. Of course it cannot be ruled out that elections will be manipulated in Putin's favour. There could be a bloodless or bloody palace coup, a revolution or an assassination. Nobody knows. No matter what, there will always be speculation about whether the Americans had a hand in it. No matter what Joe Biden said, what he was supposed to say or what he wanted to say.”

republica.ro (RO) /

No good replacing one dictator with another

Focus should be placed less on persons and more on systems, republica.ro believes:

“As long as there is no regime change, Russia will continue to be a threat to the security and freedom of the world. Simply replacing one dictator with another will not solve the problem. Replacing Putin with another Putin will not stop the revistionist and imperalist ambitions of this country, which uses nuclear warheads as its ultimate argument. In Russia it is not the dictator that needs to be replaced, but the dictatorship. Only democracy and public control can eliminate the nuclear threat, not some other, a bit more pacifist dictator.”

Público (PT) /

The new Truman doctrine

For Público, Biden's visit to Poland also heralds a new balance in US domestic and foreign policy priorities:

“The American president's visit served to let his European allies know that the US continues to guarantee their defence. ... Joe Biden came to the White House promising to take inspiration from Roosevelt to rebuild America. A new New Deal. That is exactly what he has tried to do so far. He will now have to look to another great president, Harry Truman, who defined the 'containment strategy' to contain and defeat the Soviet Union.”