Ukraine war should not be a US priority, claims Trump’s Republican rival Ron DeSantis

FILE - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis answers questions from the media in the Florida Cabinet following his State of the State address during a joint session of the Senate and House of Representatives, Tuesday, March 7, 2023, at the Capitol in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Phil Sears, File)
By Thomas Brooke
3 Min Read

The United States should not be involving itself too much in the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has claimed.

The prominent Republican politician, widely tipped to be former President Donald Trump’s closest rival for the GOP presidential nomination, offered his thoughts on the conflict after Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson requested that presidential candidates clarify their positions on U.S. aid to Ukraine.

“While the U.S. has many vital national interests — securing our borders, addressing the crisis of readiness with our military, achieving energy security and independence, and checking the economic, cultural and military power of the Chinese Communist Party — becoming further entangled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not one of them,” DeSantis said in a written response provided to the Tucker Carlson Tonight program.

He added that the U.S. government should not provide assistance “that could require the deployment of American troops or enable Ukraine to engage in offensive operations beyond its borders,” moves that DeSantis warned would “risk explicitly drawing the United States into the conflict and drawing us closer to a hot war between the world’s two largest nuclear powers.”

The Florida governor’s remarks move him closer to Trump’s position on the conflict and away from other prominent Republicans including former Vice President Mike Pence, who has previously called for the U.S. government to continue backing Ukraine “until peace is restored.”

Trump, meanwhile, has revealed he would have “done a deal” with Russian President Vladimir Putin to annex a part of Ukraine and prevent a conflict that has cost hundreds of thousands of lives.

The former president told Sean Hannity’s radio show last week: “Don’t forget, under Bush they take over Georgia, under Obama they took over Crimea. And, under Biden, they’re taking over everything. It looks like they’re going to take over everything, the whole thing, they’re going to go for the whole enchilada, they’re going for everything, that’s what it looks like to me.

“And, under Trump, you know what they took over? They took nothing, Russia. First time, first president in a long time. He (Putin) understood. He would have never done it.”

“That’s without even negotiating a deal. I could have negotiated. At worst, I could have made a deal to take over something, you know, there are certain areas that are Russian-speaking areas, right, like, but you could have worked a deal. And now Ukraine is just being blown to smithereens,” Trump added.

Trump is currently in pole position for the Republican nomination to contest the next U.S. presidential election in November 2024 enjoying on average a 14-point lead over Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

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