DeSantis Says Meddling in Russia-Ukraine Conflict Not a Vital U.S. Interest

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) has criticized President Biden’s stance on supporting Ukraine, arguing that helping the country defend itself against Russian forces is not a vital national interest for the United States.

DeSantis, who is believed to be considering a run for the presidency in 2024, made the statement in response to a questionnaire sent by Fox News host Tucker Carlson to potential Republican presidential candidates.

In the questionnaire, Carlson asked candidates whether opposing Russia in Ukraine is a vital strategic interest for the U.S., what the objective in Ukraine is, whether there should be a limit on weapons and money sent to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, whether U.S. sanctions against Russia have been effective, and whether the U.S. faces the risk of nuclear war with Russia.

DeSantis separated himself from Republicans who believe that the issue with President Biden’s Ukraine policy is that he hasn’t done enough.

He argued that “becoming further entangled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not” a vital national interest for the U.S., and that 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 stated that the U.S. should not provide Zelensky with weapons that might require the deployment of American troops or allow the Ukrainian military to engage in operations inside Russian territory, saying that F-16s and long-range missiles should be off the table.

He argued that these moves 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. That risk is unacceptable.”

DeSantis opposed a policy of “regime change” in Russia, arguing that it could increase the likelihood of nuclear weapons being used and could produce a leader “even more ruthless” than Russian President Vladimir Putin.

He accused Biden’s policies of driving “Russia into a de facto alliance with China” and empowering “Russia’s energy-dominated economy and Putin’s war machine at Americans’ expense.”

DeSantis concluded his questionnaire response by stating that American citizens are entitled to know how U.S. taxpayer dollars are being used in Ukraine.

He argued that the U.S. cannot prioritize intervention in an escalating foreign war over the defense of its own homeland, particularly as tens of thousands of Americans are dying every year from narcotics smuggled across the open border and weapons arsenals critical for the country’s security are rapidly being depleted.