US Needs to Accept Ukraine Will ‘Cede Some Territory’ to Russia, JD Vance Says


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Sen. JD Vance (R-Ohio) has said the United States should accept that Ukraine will likely have to “cede some territory” to Russia to end the war.

In an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, Mr. Vance questioned the need for the United States to continue its financial commitment to Ukraine.

“We can’t make strategic decisions based on stark morality tales. We have to figure out what is in America’s best interest,” Mr. Vance said. “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,” he continued. “But 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.”

On Dec. 6, Mr. Vance was among 51 senators who blocked the advancement of a supplemental bill to fund Ukraine, Israel, and the border, owing to its lack of border measures. The $110.5 billion package would allocate $13.5 billion in weapons to Ukraine. The 49–51 vote failed to clear the 60-vote threshold to begin the debate on the package.

Other senators who voted against the procedural vote included Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

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Earlier this month, Shalanda Young, President Joe Biden’s budget director, sent a letter to House and Senate leaders, saying that the United States “will run out of resources” to buy more weapons and equipment for Ukraine by the end of the year, which would “kneecap Ukraine on the battlefield.”

In October, President Biden asked Congress to provide $106 billion in supplemental funding, among which $61.4 billion would be used to bolster Ukraine’s military defense.

“On the Ukraine question, in particular, everybody knows, everybody with a brain in their head … knows that this was always going to end in negotiation,” Mr. Vance added. “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?”

“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,” he continued. “If this thing goes on a little bit longer, the average age of the Ukrainian soldier is going to be older than you, and then, a year later, it could be a Wolf Blitzer. That is a tragedy. What does it look like?”

Mr. Vance said the United States will be obliged to help Ukraine rebuild.

“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,” he said.

President Biden is scheduled to host Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the White House on Dec. 12. The visit will mark Mr. Zelenskyy’s third trip to Washington since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

Aside from meeting President Biden, Mr. Zelenskyy has been asked to address all senators.

A new poll by the Pew Research Center, conducted from Nov. 27 to Dec. 3, found that 31 percent of Americans said the United States was providing too much assistance to Ukraine; 29 percent said the United States provided the right amount of support; and 18 percent said it isn’t enough.

When broken down by party affiliation, 48 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said the United States was providing too much aid to Ukraine, while 16 percent of Democrats and Democratic leaners said the country had provided too much assistance.

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