Ron DeSantis Weighs In on Ukraine War, Divides Republican Party

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is expected to declare his 2024 presidential ambitions any day now, has weighed in on the war in Ukraine.[0] In a response to a questionnaire sent by Fox News host Tucker Carlson, DeSantis said that becoming further entangled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not in the United States’ national interests.[1]

DeSantis’ position, which echoes that of former President Donald Trump, has exposed a rift within the Republican party on foreign policy.[2] While Senate Republicans have overwhelmingly supported aiding Ukraine, DeSantis joined Trump in opposing US support for the country.[3] This stance caters to a growing number of Republican voters who have become split on the issue.[4]

DeSantis argued that the objective should be peace but that the United States should not supply troops or “enable Ukraine to engage in offensive operations beyond its borders” by supplying F-16s or long-range missiles.[5] He also warned against the Biden administration’s “blank check” policy toward aiding Ukraine, saying it distracts from the country’s most pressing challenges.

However, DeSantis’ comments have been criticized by leading Republican senators, with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell even visiting Ukraine in an effort to demonstrate the US’ support for the country.[3] Former Ambassador to the United Nations and declared 2024 presidential candidate Nikki Haley also took issue with DeSantis’ views, saying in a statement that Republicans deserve a choice, not an echo.

A Gallup poll revealed that 62 percent of Republicans and 58 percent of Democrats believe the Russia-Ukraine conflict poses a critical threat to vital U.S. interests.[6] While DeSantis’ position may be popular among Republican voters, it is clear that the majority of GOP senators still see a “vital national security interest” in defending Ukraine.

0. “Ron DeSantis’ statement on Ukraine shows he’s Russia-friendly” MSNBC, 15 Mar. 2023,

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

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

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

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

5. “Ron DeSantis says protecting Ukraine is not a ‘vital’ U.S. interest” NBC News, 14 Mar. 2023,

6. “Majority of Senate Republicans disagree with DeSantis on Ukraine, says Thune” The Hill, 15 Mar. 2023,

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