DeSantis does not support Washington’s escalation of involvement in the Ukraine-Russia conflict

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the Republican nominee for the 2024 White House, sidestepped a question on Tuesday about whether as president he would push Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to concede territories captured by Russia during its invasion.

DeSantis was asked in an interview on CNN if he would push Zelensky to make concessions on Russian-held territory in an effort to end the war. DeSantis said he did not support an escalation of US involvement in the war. He also retracted comments he made describing the nature of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a “territorial dispute”.

Zelensky, President of Ukraine, has said that ceding any territory to Russia is not an option, and his country recently launched a counter-offensive to recover lost territory.

DeSantis’ avoidance of the issue reflects a split in the Republican Party over support for Ukraine. While traditional Republican defense hawks support largely whatever funding Ukraine needs, the more conservative wing of the party has been highly critical of the billions of dollars in US support to Ukraine.

“The goal will be a sustainable peace that does not reward aggression,” DeSantis said on Tuesday.

On the filing of charges against former President Donald Trump, DeSantis said, “The charges against Donald Trump regarding the 2020 electoral sabotage attempt will not be beneficial to the United States.”

“I hope he won’t be charged and I don’t think it would be good for the country,” said the Florida governor.

DeSantis also sought to brush off concerns about the state of his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, trailing Trump by about 30 points while reportedly having problems with fundraising and implementing personnel changes.

DeSantis responded by saying that the media reporting on such challenges were biased, after saying that I had been doing a poor job my entire term as governor of Florida.

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