Ukraine has invited the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, to visit the country, after the controversial statements by the Republican describing the Russian attacks as a “dispute”.
DeSantis is considered the main competitor to former US President Donald Trump to lead the Republican Party in 2024.
In this sense, the Republican has been close to the theses of Trumpwith whom he shares that protecting Ukraine is not a “America’s priority.”
With this comment, it was revealed that if he were president, aid to a country in conflict could end.
As the leading candidate for the Republican nomination, he opposed US support for kyiv and criticized the Biden administration’s handling of the war during the war.
The governor of Florida stressed that:
“While the US has many national interests, such as securing our borders, addressing the readiness crisis in our military, achieving security and energy independence, and reining in the economic, cultural, and military power of the Chinese Communist Party, further entanglement in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia it is not,” he said.
DeSantis and Trump share ideas
When Trump was asked if US backing for kyiv was vital to Washington, he said: “No, it is for Europe. But not for the United States.
For his part, the spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Oleg Nikolenkocriticized the comments of DeSantis.
“We are confident that as a former military officer deployed to a combat zone, Governor Ron DeSantis knows the difference between a ‘dispute’ and a war,” Nikolenko said.
It didn’t take long for him to make his invitation public via Twitter and left the door open for the Republican to go and find out about the current conditions in the country invaded by Russia.
“We invite you to visit Ukraine to gain a deeper understanding of the large-scale invasion of Russia and the threats it poses to US interests.”
In the Republican Party presidential race, a recent CNN poll gives DeSantis a 39% vote intention compared to 37% for Trump.
The former president could be his strong rival for the Republican candidacy in the event that the governor of Florida finally materializes his aspirations for the White House.
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While studying law at Harvard, DeSantis was commissioned as an officer in the US Navy and was assigned to the Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps.
As a JAG officer, he worked with detainees at Guantanamo Bay, as well as an assignment as legal counsel for elite US Navy Seals deployed to Iraq.
Many Republicans, including top leaders in the Senate, say defending Ukraine is in the best interest of the United States.
Lindsey Graham, a senator from South Carolina, said the Florida governor’s comments indicated a “misunderstanding of the situation.”
“This is not a territorial conflict, it is a war of aggression. To say it doesn’t matter is to say war crimes don’t matter,” Graham said.
As for the House of Representatives, its leader, Republican Kevin McCarthy, has supported Ukraine.
However, he recently warned that “there cannot be a blank check” for the country given the magnitude of the debt that the United States bears.
Inside Congress, members of both parties voted for Western support for Ukraine, approving more than $112 billion in 2022.
Ukraine matters to the world
Lloyd Austin, US Secretary of Defense, said last Wednesday that he hopes the bipartisan support will continue.
“Ukraine matters. It doesn’t just matter to Ukraine or the United States, it matters to the world. This is a rules-based international order,” Austin said.
Our country is clearly the largest contributor to Ukraine in terms of money spent.
More to know: kyiv invites DeSantis to Ukraine
Its spending goes toward drones, tanks, missiles, and other munitions systems, as well as training, logistics, and of course, intelligence support.
In humanitarian matters, food assistance, drinking water, medicines and other essential items have been brought to the affected Ukrainians.
According to financial aid, it keeps the Ukrainian government running through the payment of civil servants, doctors and nurses, as well as teachers.
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