Ron DeSantis’ Ukraine Remarks Draw Bipartisan Criticism

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has provoked bipartisan condemnation for his comments on Ukraine.[0] In a statement to Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, DeSantis said that becoming further entangled in the territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not one of the United States’ “vital national interests.”[1] Ukrainian officials have since invited DeSantis to visit the country and gain a deeper understanding of the conflict, which DeSantis has accused the Biden administration of providing a “virtual ‘blank check’ funding” for “as long as it takes” without any defined objectives or accountability.[2]

DeSantis’ stance has created a divide within the Republican Party between isolationists who are skeptical of providing military aid and the party’s establishment policy of supporting Kyiv.[3] While Trump also said opposing Russia is not in the US’ strategic interest, DeSantis’ comments have been met with a particularly strong degree of pushback in the GOP.[4]

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) compared DeSantis to former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, who infamously tried to appease Adolf Hitler in the years before World War II, saying “the Neville Chamberlain approach to aggression never ends well.”[5] Graham added that Putin is attempting to “rewrite the map of Europe by force of arms,” and that the US must oppose this.[6] Other senators have also criticized DeSantis, saying that support for Ukraine is an important criteria for the next GOP president.[7]

Interestingly, DeSantis’ position is a break from when he was in Congress, when he supported multiple defense bills to provide for US military and intelligence support for Ukraine.[8] His remarks also cater to a growing number of Republican voters who have become split on the assistance.[9] Despite this, many Republicans insist that backing Ukraine is the right thing to do for the US’ survival as a world power.[7]

0. “DeSantis calls Russia-Ukraine war a ‘territorial dispute,’ questions US involvement” The Hill, 14 Mar. 2023,

1. “Republican 2024 hopefuls respond to Tucker Carlson’s questions about their stance on Russia-Ukraine war” Fox News, 14 Mar. 2023,

2. “Ron DeSantis Thrills Tucker Carlson by Taking Pro-Russian Stance” New York Magazine, 14 Mar. 2023,

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

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

5. “Harris slams DeSantis over Ukraine remarks, suggests he lacks experience” Fox News, 17 Mar. 2023,

6. “DeSantis’ Ukraine flip alarms pro-Israel Republicans” Jewish Insider, 15 Mar. 2023,

7. “Wanted: A GOP presidential contender who supports Ukraine” POLITICO, 16 Mar. 2023,

8. “Kamala Harris slams Ron DeSantis for saying defending Ukraine is not a vital U.S. interest” NBC News, 16 Mar. 2023,

9. “A Republican ‘civil war’ on Ukraine erupts as Reagan’s example fades” The Washington Post, 15 Mar. 2023,

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