Support for Ukraine Is Not a ‘Vital’ National Interest, According to DeSantis

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a potential 2024 GOP presidential candidate, made a statement on Monday that the US's continued support for Ukraine in its efforts to defend itself against Russia's invasion is not a crucial national interest.

‘Blank Check' Policy

DeSantis has previously spoken out against what he termed a “blank check” policy for American assistance to Ukraine. However, this is his most direct and extensive position on the matter so far. The governor's stance aligns him with former President Donald Trump, but it places him at odds with other leading Republicans and possible contenders for the 2024 election, who have expressed strong backing for Ukraine.

In a statement to Tucker Carlson on Fox News, Governor Ron DeSantis expressed that although the US has various crucial national interests, such as safeguarding its borders, strengthening its military, ensuring energy security, and restraining China's economic and military influence, getting more involved in the territorial conflict between Russia and Ukraine is not among them.

“While the U.S. has many vital national interests — securing our borders, addressing the crisis of readiness within our military, achieving energy security and independence, and checking the economic, cultural, and military power of the Chinese Community Party — becoming further entangled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not one of them,” he said.

A Divided Party

The Republican party appears to be divided in its stance toward the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia. While Governor Ron DeSantis, who is regarded as Donald Trump's main rival for the 2024 presidential nomination, opposes additional assistance to Ukraine, other GOP candidates have urged President Biden to increase support for the country. Former Vice President Mike Pence has suggested that the US and its allies must speed up military provisions to aid Ukraine in defeating Russia.

Pence has also emphasized that the Republican party should only include supporters of freedom, not those who make excuses for Putin. Nikki Haley, who served as US ambassador to the UN under Trump and is running for the GOP nomination, has warned that a Russian victory could have significant global repercussions. During a town hall in Iowa, Haley declared that the conflict was about freedom, which the US must win. She also highlighted Russia's plan to target Poland and the Baltics if it prevails, which could trigger a world war.

It remains to be seen which candidate will prevail in the 2024 Republican primary. However, the party's conflicting views on US involvement in Ukraine suggest that it is still grappling with its foreign policy approach. While some members believe that supporting Ukraine is essential to maintaining America's leadership role in the world, others are wary of becoming further entangled in the conflict.

Carlson's Questionnaire

Fox News host Tucker Carlson sent a series of questions regarding Ukraine to a number of potential 2024 Republican presidential candidates. Responding to the questionnaire were Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, Kristi Noem, Greg Abbott, Tim Scott, Chris Christie, and Vivek Ramaswamy. Notably, Mike Pompeo and Chris Sununu did not reply, while Nikki Haley publicly released her answers on Tuesday.

Carlson's inquiry highlights the ongoing debate within the GOP about US involvement in the Ukraine conflict and the party's foreign policy stance, which will undoubtedly play a crucial role in the 2024 election. In his response to Carlson, former President Donald Trump reiterated his stance that the U.S. should not get further involved in the Ukraine conflict.

Trump argued that supporting Ukraine was in Europe's strategic interest but not necessarily in America's. He also claimed that if he were still president, Putin would not have invaded Ukraine. Regarding aid to Ukraine, Trump stated that it would depend on his meeting with Putin and Russia. He called on European nations to increase their support for Ukraine and suggested that the U.S. would withhold additional funding unless Russia continued its military activities.

In a separate interview with Sean Hannity on his radio show, Trump suggested that he would have negotiated a deal for Russia to take control of certain parts of Ukraine. Trump's comments reveal a continued reluctance among some Republicans to fully support Ukraine in its conflict with Russia.

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.