Republicans Debate U.S. Role in Ukraine-Russia War Ahead of 2024 Election

With the 2024 presidential election looming on the horizon, Republican candidates and hopefuls are voicing their stances on the war between Russia and Ukraine. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is widely seen as a leading contender for the GOP’s nomination, has recently declared that continuing to aid Ukraine to fight off the Russian invasion is not in the United States’ “vital national interests.”[0]

In a statement submitted to Fox News host Tucker Carlson, DeSantis said, “We cannot prioritize intervention in an escalating foreign war over the defense of our own homeland, especially as tens of thousands of Americans are dying every year from narcotics smuggled across our open border and our weapons arsenals critical for our own security are rapidly being depleted.”[1]

DeSantis’s position echoes that of former President Donald Trump, who is running for president again in 2024 and has taken aim at DeSantis in recent months amid growing speculation that the Florida governor will also announce a presidential bid.[2] Trump has argued that “Europe isn’t helping itself” and that the U.S. should not be offering a “blank check” to Ukraine.[3]

However, not all Republicans agree with DeSantis. South Dakota Sen. John Thune, the No. 2 Senate Republican, said he disagreed with DeSantis, but he acknowledged that his own stance may not reflect where his party is now.[0] South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham also spoke out against those who “believe” that the Russian invasion is not a priority for the US.[4]

President Joe Biden has been a staunch backer of Ukraine, vowing that the United States would stand by the country “as long as it takes.”[3] To date, the U.S. government has allocated over $112 billion in military and economic aid to Ukraine.[3]

The debate between DeSantis and other Republicans underscores growing scepticism among Republican politicians of Washington’s support for Ukraine as it tries to fend off Russia’s invasion.[5] Republicans deserve a choice, not an echo, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley said in a statement.[6]

DeSantis has objected to U.S. assistance that would require American troops on the ground and ruled out providing F-16 fighter jets and long-range missiles.[6]

0. “Republican senators push back on DeSantis’ Ukraine remarks” NBC News, 15 Mar. 2023,

1. “Ron DeSantis dismisses Ukraine war as ‘territorial dispute’ as he downplays need for US aid” The Independent, 14 Mar. 2023,

2. “DeSantis flip-flops on Ukraine aid after backing sending arms” Business Insider, 14 Mar. 2023,

3. “Ron DeSantis says backing Ukraine is not in the U.S. interest, a sign of a GOP divided” NPR, 14 Mar. 2023,

4. “Senate Republicans criticize DeSantis over Ukraine comments” Axios, 14 Mar. 2023,

5. “US Republican DeSantis calls Ukraine war a ‘territorial dispute’” Al Jazeera English, 14 Mar. 2023,

6. “Ron DeSantis says U.S. support for Ukraine in war not a “vital” national interest” CBS News, 14 Mar. 2023,

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