Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis in this March 7, 2023 file photo.
Washington – Florida governor and potential Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis has said that protecting Ukraine is not a vital national interest of the United States. He called the war a “territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia”. DeSantis made the comments in response to questions from Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson. Republican ex-president Donald Trump, who wants to seek the White House again in 2024, responded similarly to the same questions.
Photo gallery: Russian invasion of Ukraine
“The United States has many vital national interests – protecting our borders, the readiness of our military, energy security and independence, balancing the economic, cultural and military power of the Chinese Communist Party. Further entanglement in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not one of them,” said DeSantis.
According to DeSantis, the administration of Democratic President Joe Biden has given Ukraine a “blank check” in terms of financing the conflict for as long as necessary, without clearly defining goals and establishing responsibilities. According to the governor, this distracts attention from the most pressing problems of the US.
DeSantis believes that “peace should be objective” and opposes the United States providing Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets to defend against Russian invasion forces and long-range missiles.
DeSantis' response echoes that of former Republican President Trump, who is doing better in many Republican polls than his congressional colleagues, who have supported aid to Ukraine. According to NBC News, this signals a growing isolationist sentiment among Republicans, which is likely to be one of the key issues in the upcoming primaries. When asked the same question by Fox News whether standing up to Russia is a vital strategic national interest of the US, Trump replied: “No, but for Europe it is. For the United States it is not”.