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I Don’t Think a Lot of People Are Asking How Long We Can Keep Spending Billions on Ukraine

Xavier Roger

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During a portion of an interview aired on Friday’s edition of ABC’s “World News Tonight,” President Joe Biden said he’s “not sure how many are asking” how long we can continue to spend money on Ukraine at the current rate and we’re in a position where the cost of walking away from the conflict “could be considerably higher than the cost of helping Ukraine maintain its independence.”

Host David Muir asked, “[H]ow does this war end and what does victory look like?”

Biden responded, “Well, that depends on what the Ukrainians decide. But here’s what we have to do in the meantime: We have to put the Ukrainians in a position where they can make advances this spring and summer and move to a place where a negotiated — they can negotiate from a position of strength. And — but that expression you’ve heard me use before and others, nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine. We’re not going to dictate to them what the end result is.”

Muir then asked, “When you talk about them negotiating, does that mean they get to keep Crimea and parts of the east?”

Biden answered, “That means they decide that. They, the Ukrainians decide that. But I could picture a circumstance where there’s a transition to that. It’s not all at one time. Look, a year ago today, they were only 70 kilometers from the border where Russians expected they’d come rolling down into Kyiv and own it all. They got pushed back. It didn’t happen. And I think they underestimated a great deal, the Russians did.”

Muir concluded the exchange by asking, “You announced another $2.5 billion in aid to Ukraine today, $113 billion now. We know the vast majority of Americans support Ukraine, but there are now many who are asking, how long can we spend like this?”

Biden answered, “Well, first of all, I’m not sure how many are asking. I know the MAGA crowd is. The right-wing Republicans are talking about, we can’t do this. We find ourselves in a situation where the cost of doing — of walking away could be considerably higher than the cost of helping Ukraine maintain its independence.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett



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