That the war in Ukraine is going to be one of the central axes during the US electoral campaign in 2024 is an increasingly evident fact. To this must be added the conflicting positions between the two political factions, Republicans and Democrats, who have expressed different opinions in recent months on the role that the US must continue to play in the conflict.
The latest to join the debate has been Ron DeSantis, Governor of Florida, and that although he has not officially announced his intention to run in the Republican Party primaries, his movements and statements suggest that he has very little left to do so. Internal polls predict that he is the one who represents the best options to rival Donald Trump in the right-wing electoral race for the White House, but there is still a lot of party left for this.
What is relevant is that DeSantis has already taken positions not only on domestic policy issues, but now in the foreign sphere. Regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine, he said on Tuesday that “while the US has many vital national interests, getting further entangled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not one of them.”
This statement is far-reaching for two reasons. Firstly, because it ensures that what exists between the two European countries is a “territorial dispute” and, secondly, because it maintains that it is not essential for the United States to continue supporting the Ukrainians militarily.
The governor of Florida also assured that the true US national interests are to secure the borders, achieve security and energy independence, and face the economic, cultural and military power of the Chinese Communist Party.
Of his statements, one of the most striking things is that he clearly follows a line very similar to that of Donald Trump, who a few days ago said that with him this war would never have started and that he would be able to resolve the conflict in 24 hours. The two Republican candidates agree, like the great mass of the right-wing electorate in the United States, that President Joe Biden is getting too involved in the conflict, which is why they consider that the economic and arms aid that Kiev receives should be reduced. .
Using data from the end of last February, the Biden administration and the US Congress have directed 71 billion euros in assistance to Ukraine, which includes humanitarian, financial and military support. Of all this amount, 22.2 billion euros were in military equipment, eight times more than the amount destined for humanitarian support and very similar to the financial aid to keep the Ukrainian government afloat.
The aid sent by the Americans, in comparison with the European Union, is five times greater in military terms, while it is less in humanitarian terms and somewhat less in financial support.
Given the importance of US military aid for Ukraine, this Wednesday the Florida Republican leader received an invitation from the Ukrainian authorities to visit the country. This was stated by the spokesman for the Ukrainian foreign ministry, Oleg Nikolenko, stating that he would “obtain a deeper understanding of the large-scale invasion of Russia and the threats it poses to US interests.”
In a post on his official social media profile, Nikolenko spoke of DeSantis’ military background and his experience in the Iraq war to suggest that the politician should “know the difference between a ‘dispute’ and a war.”
DeSantis has not yet made any public announcement about his candidacy for the Republican primary elections, although those who know him say that he has repeatedly stated in private his intentions to appear and run if he wins the presidential candidacy.
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