Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy said he is willing to make “major concessions” to Russia in order to end the war in Ukraine and shift focus to counter communist China.
Speaking on ABC’s “This Week,” Ramaswamy emphasized that he does not view the threat of Russia taking over Ukraine as a “top foreign policy priority.” Instead, the United States should focus on breaking the Beijing-Moscow military alignment.
“I don’t think it is preferable for Russia to be able to invade a sovereign country that’s its neighbor, but I think the job of the U.S. president is to look after American interests,” he told host Martha Raddatz.
“What I think the number one threat to the U.S. military right now, our top military threat, is the Sino-Russian alliance,” he continued. “I think that by fighting further in Russia, by further arming Ukraine, we are driving Russia into China’s hands, and that Sino-Russian alliance is the top threat we face.”
The West, Ramaswamy suggested, could recognize Russia’s current territorial gains and pledge to not absorb Ukraine into NATO as a means of stopping Russia from further aligning itself with the Chinese regime.
“What I think we need to do is end the Ukraine war on peaceful terms that, yes, do make some major concessions to Russia, including freezing the current lines of control in a Korean war-style armistice agreement, and also a permanent commitment not to allow Ukraine to enter NATO,” he said.
In return, Ramaswamy wants Russia to “leave its treaty and its joint military agreement with China.”
“I don’t trust Putin, but I do trust Putin to follow his self-interest,” he maintained. “I don’t think he enjoys being the little brother in the relationship with Xi Jinping.”
The 37-year-old entrepreneur also highlighted the threat to Taiwan from China, which he believes is a “much higher priority for the United States” because the island supplies almost all of the world’s high-end semiconductors.
Ramaswamy previously said that the United States should give China a “taste of American exceptionalism” by opening a branch of National Rifle Association in Taiwan and putting an AR-15 rifle in every household in the Asian country, which has a population of about 24 million.
Republican Candidates on Ukraine
The nation’s top Republican candidate, former President Donald Trump, has recently underscored that he could leverage personal friendships with both Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Russian President Vladimir Putin to negotiate a peace deal in just 24 hours.
“I get along with [Zelensky], I get along with Putin,” Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity.
“I don’t want that war to continue. And I’ll stop that war—mark my words—I’ll stop that war in 24 hours,” said the Republican 2024 presidential forerunner. “Right now, it’s a mess. Now they’re hitting Kyiv, and they’re hitting all sorts of things that weren’t supposed to be hit. The country is being decimated.”
While Trump and Ramaswamy indicated that their presidency would see a major shift in U.S. policy from prolonged military aid to Ukraine to ending the conflict as soon as possible, others call for continued support until Ukraine prevails.
Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under the Trump administration, in March criticized the Biden administration for only providing Ukraine with just enough resources “to slow the Russian advance, not to repel it.” She also expressed frustration with “weakness from some on the right.”
“They say the U.S. shouldn’t care about Ukraine because this war isn’t our fight. Some call it a mere ‘territorial dispute.’ They say we should ignore Ukraine so we can focus on China,” Haley wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, apparently referring to Ramaswamy and like-minded people. “This has it backward. China loses if Ukraine wins.”
South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott has also argued that support for Ukraine, including sending billions of dollars’ worth of military equipment, is a part of America’s “vital national interest.”
“The more we degrade the Russian military, the less likely there is to be an attack on our sovereign territory, and it protects our NATO allies,” he said last month in an interview with NBC News.
“I think that we should be in Ukraine. I believe that the truth is simple, that degrading the Russian military is in America’s best interest. And the more we do that, the faster we get it done, the better off the entire world is.”
Meanwhile, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to dodge the Ukraine question, although he has very ambiguously said that Americans “cannot prioritize intervention in an escalating foreign war” over the defense of their home country.
In an interview last month with Fox News host and former Congressman Trey Gowdy, DeSantis was asked how he, as president, would handle the Ukraine crisis. He immediately switched the topic to how to stop the U.S. military from going “woke.”
“Well, first, I think what we need to do as a veteran is recognize that our military has become politicized,” he told Gowdy. “You talk about gender ideology, you talk about things like global warming, that they’re somehow concerned and that’s not the military that I served in.”
“We need to return our military to focusing on commitment, focusing on the core values and the core mission. That would be something that I can take care of on day one.”