WASHINGTON D.C. – Senator JD Vance joined CNN’s “State of the Union” with Jake Tapper to discuss the ongoing war in Ukraine, including the debate over further aid funding.
Watch the discussion here and read excerpts below.
Senator Vance on efforts to pass an additional Ukraine aid package:
“I think it’s possible to have separate debates. In fact, congressional Republicans tried to force an Israel alone aid package just a couple of weeks ago that Democrats blocked in the Senate. So we can have separate debates. I think we need to have separate debates. But on the Ukraine question in particular, everybody knows, everybody with a brain in their head, Jake, knows that this was always going to end in negotiation. The idea that Ukraine was going to throw Russia back to the 1991 borders was preposterous: nobody actually believed it.
“So what we’re saying to the president and really to the entire world is you need to articulate what the ambition is. What is $61 billion going to accomplish that $100 billion hasn’t? We need to remember, Jake: Ukraine is functionally destroyed as a country. The average age of a soldier in the Ukrainian army right now is 43. That’s tragic. That’s older than me. I’m 39. If this thing goes on a little bit longer, the average age of a Ukrainian soldier is going to be older than you. And then a year later, it could be Wolf Blitzer. We are getting to a place where we’re going to be functionally on the hook to pay for Ukrainian pensioners to rebuild the entire country. We need to bring the killing to a stop, and that’s what American leadership should be doing. Not writing more blank checks to the war.”
Senator Vance on NATO’s role and questions that the conflict could expand to NATO nations:
“There are two reasons I don’t buy this. First of all, Putin has showed he’s much weaker than a lot of people feared. The Ukrainians have fought bravely. They’ve also stalled Putin in a very small amount of territorial gain relative to the entire country. The idea that he can march to Poland or Berlin is preposterous. And the other thing that this really misses here is we have to remember, our NATO’s allies, with the exception of a few Eastern Europeans, are not carrying their fair share of the burden. Most of them don’t even spend 2% of their GDP on defense. If Putin is a threat to Berlin, that means the Germans should be changing something about their defense policy. It doesn’t mean we can write indefinite checks to Ukraine.”
Senator Vance on Jake Tapper’s question over the “stark morality” between Russia and Ukraine:
“It is a stark morality tale, Jake, but we can’t make strategic decisions based on stark morality tales. We have to figure out what is in America’s best interest. We have a food crisis that’s getting worse because of the prolonged war in Eastern Europe. We have an energy crisis that’s threatening to swamp multiple allied governments in Western Europe. What’s in America’s best interest is to accept Ukraine is going to have to cede some territory to the Russians, and we need to bring this war to a close. When I think about the great human tragedy here, hundreds of thousands of Eastern Europeans innocent have been killed in this conflict. The thing that’s in our interest and in theirs is to stop the killing.”