DeSantis clarifies position on Ukraine — RT World News
The Florida governor previously called the dispute a territorial dispute between Moscow and Kyiv
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis claimed his comment on the Ukraine conflict was simply a “territorial dispute” was “mischaracterised”. In an interview with TV host Piers Morgan, the full version of which will air on Friday, the potential Republican presidential candidate insisted that Russia was “wrong” to “take control of Crimea” and to attack Ukraine.
Earlier this month, DeSantis told Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson that “increasingly entangled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia” is not one of many “vital national interests” the United States. The governor also argued that the United States should not provide assistance to Ukraine in the form of F-16 fighter jets, long-range missiles or deployment of American troops and criticized the Biden administration. “Virtual financing by blank check” for Kyiv without any goals or oversight.
DeSantis’ comments sparked a backlash, including from fellow Republicans such as Senators Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio, who accused the Florida governor of misunderstanding the situation and downplaying the issue.
Speaking to Morgan, however, DeSantis explained that his comments were misinterpreted and that he was referring specifically to Donbass and Crimea.
“There are a lot of ethnic Russians there,” he said. “So it’s a tough fight and that’s what I was referring to.”
He also said he doesn’t believe Russia has the ability to take over Ukraine, overthrow its government or threaten NATO, which is why he doesn’t see the conflict as important enough to that the United States step up its involvement.
Pressed by Morgan on his “territorial dispute” remark, DeSantis reiterated that he believed Ukraine had “the rights in this territory”. “If I could snap my fingers I would give it back 100% to Ukraine,” said the governor. He insisted, however, that America’s involvement in the issue, in terms of escalating with more weapons and troop deployments, “would be a mistake.”
While DeSantis is expected to contest the US presidency in the 2024 election, the governor has yet to officially announce his intentions. Polls have shown him to be the leading alternative to former US President Donald Trump as the pair have gone neck and neck in recent polls. The latest Yahoo/YouGov survey from March found that DeSantis is currently trailing Trump by 39% to 47%, after leading in February at 45% to 41%.
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