Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly said last week that regime change in Moscow is “definitely” the goal when announcing Canada was banning the import of Russian steel and metal as part of its sanctions campaign against Russia.
“We’re able to see how much we’re isolating the Russian regime right now — because we need to do so economically, politically and diplomatically — and what are the impacts also on society, and how much we’re seeing potential regime change in Russia,” Joly said, according to the National Post.
Joly said regime change and holding Russian President Vladimir Putin accountable was the purpose of the sanctions. “The goal is definitely to do that, is to weaken Russia’s ability to launch very difficult attacks against Ukraine. We want also to make sure that Putin and his enablers are held to account,” she said.
Western sanctions on Russia have failed to hurt the Russian economy in a serious way. Putin’s approval ratings also went up after he launched the war and the US and its allies started implementing sanctions on Russia.
The provocative remarks are not the first time a NATO country’s foreign minister has called for regime change in Moscow. Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis claimed last year that the only way to protect other countries near Russia was to remove Putin.
In March 2022, President Biden declared that Putin “cannot remain in power” during a visit to Poland. The White House later walked back his call for regime change, saying that Biden meant “that Putin cannot be allowed to exercise power over his neighbors or the region. He was not discussing Putin’s power in Russia, or regime change.”