Republican Senator Rob Portman on Ukraine crisis, Biden’s State of the Union address

Senator Rob Portman:

Well, first of all, I appreciate that the American people are funding so much support for the Ukrainian people, allowing them to protect themselves.

The Ukrainians didn’t ask for us to be on the ground over the years, but they said they needed more help. And I’ve always been a strong advocate for that. We are finally doing it in greater numbers. And that’s great.

There are two areas where I think we could help a lot more. One is aircraft, which they desperately need, as you know. The Europeans had talked about providing MiG fighters, which the Ukrainians can use, compared to our fighters and bombers, for that matter. And yet today there was news that some of that may be being taken down.

I think it is in the interest of the United States to be involved here and to reward European countries that are willing to provide the type of fighter jets that Ukrainian pilots know how to fly and can use effectively. So I think that’s an area where we should be doing more in the air.

The second concerns drones. Again, our drones are probably not suitable, as it takes months or even years of training. But there are other drones that are on the market that the United States could help with in terms of, again, buying them, basically, or compensating countries like Turkey to provide that capability.

We’ve all seen that gruesome picture of miles and miles of Russian tanks and armored vehicles heading towards Kiev…


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