Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a potential Republican presidential candidate, has stated that he doesn’t believe protecting Ukraine is a “vital” national interest for the United States. In a questionnaire response posted on Twitter by Fox News host Tucker Carlson, DeSantis stated that becoming further embroiled in the territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not a priority for the U.S. He argued that “peace should be the objective” for the country and opposed the idea of sending military aid to Ukraine.
DeSantis’s stance aligns him with former President Donald Trump, who has consistently opposed aid to Ukraine, and against many congressional Republicans who have supported it. This signals a growing trend of isolationist sentiments within the Republican Party, which has traditionally advocated for an active U.S. presence in global affairs. The issue is likely to become a significant factor in the party’s presidential primary.
“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 Communist Party — becoming further entangled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not one of them,” DeSantis wrote in a questionnaire response Carlson posted on his Twitter feed.
“The Biden administration’s virtual ‘blank check’ funding of this conflict for ‘as long as it takes,’ without any defined objectives or accountability, distracts from our country’s most pressing challenges,” DeSantis continued.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has argued that defending Ukraine against Russian aggression is necessary to protect not just European interests, but also American ones. At the Munich Security Conference last month, he stated that America’s “own core national interests are at stake” in Ukraine and that the country is committed to helping Ukraine because “our security is interlinked and our economies are intertwined.”
DeSantis’s stance may reflect a broader shift within the Republican Party towards isolationism and a reluctance to become involved in international conflicts. This shift has been fueled by a desire to focus on domestic issues such as securing borders, addressing military readiness, achieving energy independence, and countering the Chinese Communist Party’s power.
In contrast, many Democrats believe that the U.S. has a responsibility to support Ukraine and oppose Russian aggression. President Biden has reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to Ukraine and has vowed to provide the country with “unwavering support” in its struggle against Russian aggression.