Former US President Donald Trump.
Washington – Former Republican President Donald Trump believes that supporting Kiev in the fight against Russian President Vladimir Putin's troops is more in the strategic interest of Europe than the US. According to him, if he became the American president again, the war in Ukraine would be over in 24 hours or less. Trump made the comments in response to questions from Fox News host Tucker Carlson. This was also answered by other Republicans who could run for the Republican nomination in the next presidential election. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has said that the defense of Ukraine is not a vital national interest of the United States, calling the war a “territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia.” Former Vice President Mike Pence, on the other hand, called Putin a dictator who must be stopped.
Photo gallery: Russian invasion of Ukraine
Trump has repeatedly said that if he were president, Russia would never have invaded Ukraine, and that this “terrible war would be over within 24 hours” if he were president again.
According to Trump, sanctions against Russia are not effective. When asked if the US should seek regime change in Russia, the former president replied: “No. We should support regime change in the United States, that's much more important. The Biden administration got us into this mess.”
When asked if standing up to Russia was a “vital strategic national interest of the US”, Trump replied that it was not, but that it was for Europe, which therefore “should pay a lot more than us”. “Our goal in Ukraine is to help Europe and ensure its security, but Europe is not helping itself. It is relying on the United States to do it for it to a large extent. This is very unfair to us. Especially because Europe uses us in trade and in other matters,” the ex-president added.
Even Florida Governor DeSantis disagrees with the claim that supporting Ukraine is in the US's strategic national interest. “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 the territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not one of them,” he declared.
The administration of Democratic President Joe Biden, according to DeSantis, has given Ukraine a “blank check” in terms of funding the conflict for as long as needed, without clearly defining goals and establishing responsibilities. This, according to the governor, 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 and long-range missiles to defend against Russian invasion troops.
According to NBC News, the statements of both politicians signal that isolationist sentiments are growing among Republicans, which is likely to be one of the key themes of the upcoming primaries.
Carlson's questions were answered by a number of other Republicans who are speculated to be possible candidates for the Republican nomination in the 2024 presidential election. Former US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, who has already announced her intention to run, did not answer Carlson's questions. But former vice president in the Trump administration Mike Pence did. “There is no place in the Republican Party for Putin apologists. This is not America's war, but if we do not stop Putin and quickly restore a sovereign Ukraine, he will continue to move toward our NATO allies,” the former vice president said.
“Putin he has revealed his true nature as a dictator obsessed with conquest and willing to sacrifice thousands of lives for his purpose of restoring the Great Russian Empire. Anyone who thinks that Putin will stop at the Ukrainian border is not accepting the reality of what Putin is. We must clearly to realize what the Russian threat is: that Georgia, Crimea and Ukraine are only at the top of Putin's list,” Pence added.
According to him, the US goal should be “a clear victory for Ukraine and an undeniable loss for Russia and its allies “. Asked whether the United States should support regime change in Russia, Pence said: “That's a better question for the thousands of Russian citizens imprisoned for protesting Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Up to 200,000 Russian soldiers were killed or wounded in Putin's invasion of Ukraine, this they should ask the families grieving their loss”.