Authored by Ryan Morgan via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in a recent interview with NBC News, pushed back on comments from Republican politicians who are hesitant to keep bolstering Ukraine’s military against Russia.
Zelenskyy joined NBC News to talk about Ukraine’s ongoing counteroffensive and his requests for additional weapons and aircraft for Ukrainian forces. During the Thursday interview, NBC correspondent Richard Engel asked Zelenskyy to respond to Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis’s characterization of the Ukraine-Russia conflict as a “territorial dispute” and fellow Republican candidate Donald Trump’s vow to quickly end the conflict and sue for peace between the two countries.
“If any candidate thinks supporting Ukraine is too costly, are they ready to go to war? Are they ready to fight? Send their children? Die?” Zelenskyy said. “They will have to do it anyway if NATO enters this war, and if Ukraine fails and Russia occupies us, they will move on to the Baltics or Poland or some other NATO country. And then the U.S. will have to choose between keeping NATO or entering the war.”
Zelenskyy said Ukraine continuing to fight is to the benefit of NATO nations like the United States.
“I wonder if those candidates realize the price Ukraine is paying in this war,” the Ukrainian president said.
Engel asked Zelenskyy whether he was worried if certain candidates winning the 2024 U.S. presidential election raised concerns for Ukraine.
“The American people will choose the most worthy president and we will support this choice. And that’s normal and fair,” Zelenskyy replied. “Of course some statements from representatives of specific groups and politicians calling for diminished support of Ukraine, yes that does worry us. I think that’s a big risk for Ukraine. It’s not the person at the top, it’s the change of policy we want to avoid. I believe that won’t happen.”
Trump, DeSantis, RFK Jr. Seek Ukraine Settlement
Rather than continuing to arm and fund Ukraine’s military, Trump and DeSantis have both called for a peaceful cessation of hostilities.
In a March response to a questionnaire from then Fox News host Tucker Carlson, DeSantis said the United States has many pressing national security concerns but “becoming further entangled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not one of them” and “peace should be the objective.”
Following his initial comments about Ukraine, DeSantis told Fox News host Piers Morgan that the Russian decision to invade Ukraine was “wrong” and labeled Russian President Vladimir Putin a “war criminal,” but stood by his position that the United States should not get further involved in the conflict.
DeSantis also questioned the idea that Russia poses a threat beyond Ukraine, chalking up Russia’s progress so far in the war to a “loss.”
“I do not think it’s going to end with Putin being victorious. I do not think the Ukrainian government is going to be toppled by him and I think that’s a good thing,” DeSantis told Morgan in March.
Last month, DeSantis again addressed the Ukraine-Russia conflict, reiterating calls for a peaceful settlement.
Trump has repeatedly called for a peaceful settlement to the conflict, including during a contentious town hall interview with CNN in May. When CNN host Kaitlin Collins asked whether he wants Ukraine to win the war, Trump said, “I think in terms of getting it settled so we [can] stop killing all these people—Russians and Ukrainians. I want them to stop dying.”
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