Former Vice President Mike Pence has challenged former President Donald Trump’s claim that he could end the war in Ukraine within 24 hours. Pence argues that the only way to achieve such a quick resolution would be to give Russian President Vladimir Putin everything he wants. In an interview with Fox News, Pence emphasized the importance of supporting Ukraine in order to prevent further aggression from Russia and protect NATO member countries.
Pence stated, “The only way you’d solve this war in a day is if you gave Vladimir Putin what he wanted.” He expressed concern that if Russia were to overrun Ukraine, it could potentially lead to a broader conflict with NATO, of which the United States is a member. Pence warned that Russia might target countries such as Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, and the Baltics, prompting NATO to send armed forces to defend its member nations.
The former vice president’s stance aligns with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who recently suggested that NATO would be drawn into a direct conflict with Russia if his government fell. Zelenskyy questioned whether candidates who advocated for a peace deal with Ukraine were prepared for the possibility of war and the need to sacrifice their own children. He warned that if Russia occupied Ukraine, it would likely move on to other NATO countries, forcing the United States to choose between maintaining the alliance or engaging in war.
Pence’s visit to Ukraine last month further highlighted his commitment to supporting the country. He emphasized that the Trump administration’s strong military deterrence prevented Russia from attacking Ukraine, and he would make this argument in a debate with Trump. While Trump has called for renewed peace negotiations, President Joe Biden has continued to provide military assistance to Ukraine, including the approval of controversial cluster munitions.
The Biden administration has authorized the provision of powerful weapons systems to Ukraine, and Pence has expressed his intention to expedite the approval process if he were elected. However, other candidates in the Republican primary field, such as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, have opposed prolonging the war in Ukraine. DeSantis stated that it is in everyone’s interest to achieve a ceasefire, while Ramaswamy proposed a peace plan involving territorial concessions and the closure of NATO bases in Eastern Europe.
Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has also expressed support for a peace settlement in Ukraine. His campaign website outlines a plan that includes withdrawing troops and nuclear-capable missiles from Russia’s borders, Russia’s withdrawal from Ukraine, and the presence of UN peacekeepers in the Russian-speaking eastern regions to ensure peace.
In conclusion, Pence’s criticism of Trump’s claim and his emphasis on supporting Ukraine reflect his concerns about the potential consequences of a rapid peace deal that appeases Russia. He believes that providing Ukraine with the necessary assistance to repel Russian aggression is crucial to maintaining regional stability and protecting NATO member countries.