Doubts between Democrats and Republicans about aid to Ukraine stir the US election campaign | International
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The war in Ukraine has entered the battle for the US legislative elections on November 8. Two weeks before an appointment with the polls in which the majority in Congress is at stake ―and, with it, the support of the Chambers for the White House policy of economic and military support for Kiev―, the cracks in positions on the war in Ukraine have become apparent, to the concern of European allies. The differences are not only the foreseeable ones between Democrats and Republicans; they have also emerged within President Joe Biden’s own party. Meanwhile, warnings are being issued from the Republican opposition camp that there will be no blank check for kyiv if they win the elections.
Thirty of the 100 members of the caucuses Democratic progressive in the House of Representatives sent a letter to the White House, released on Monday, in which they called for a shift in policy towards Ukraine, to further promote a negotiated solution and favor direct dialogue between the US government and Moscow. The letter was withdrawn hours later, on the grounds that it had been delivered by mistake, after it generated a strong internal debate. “The letter was written several months ago, but unfortunately it was sent by employees without approval,” said the president of the caucusesPramila Jayapal.
The letter from the most leftist wing of the party called on Biden to undertake “vigorous diplomatic efforts” for a “negotiated agreement and ceasefire” in Ukraine, considering that the “quick” end of the war should be the great priority for Washington. He argued for “high fuel and food prices” in the United States and the rise in poverty and hunger around the world as a result of the conflict. And he suggested proposing “incentives to end hostilities, including some form of sanctions relief” imposed on Russia since that country launched its invasion of Ukraine in February.
The document, signed by congressmen such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or Ilham Omar, immediately received criticism from his own party, including members of his own party. caucuses progressive. On Twitter, Arizona legislator Rubén Gallego, who was not among the signatories, wrote: “How to end a war? Win it quick. How do you earn fast? Giving Ukraine the weapons to defeat Russia.”
Other congressmen who did sign the letter indicated that they did so a long time ago and now it was a “bad time” to make it public: on the eve of the election date and polls that predict dismal results for the Democrats, and when Ukraine tries to consolidate the gains it has made in its counter-offensive of the past two months in the south and east before the onset of winter.
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In his remarks, Jayapal tried to highlight the unity among the democrats, to avoid sending Putin the message that there are divisions that Moscow can try to take advantage of. “We are united as democrats in our unequivocal commitment to support Ukraine in fighting for its democracy and freedom in the face of illegal and impermissible invasion by Russia, and nothing in the content of the letter advocates a change in that support,” he insisted.
But, although the letter has been withdrawn and the timing of making it public has been criticized, its signatories have not indicated that they disagree with its content. California Rep. Ro Khanna stated, after pointing out that he has voted in favor of every military aid proposal to Ukraine, that he “calls for all diplomatic avenues to be explored to avoid nuclear war and seek a ceasefire while defending Ukraine’s sovereignty is what many voters want. Our country should never silence or silence the debate.”
Since the invasion began, the Democratic government has unequivocally sided with kyiv. Military and economic aid shipments approved by Congress already reach 66,000 million dollars [unos 65.425 millones de euros] since February. President Joe Biden and his Administration repeatedly insist that support for Ukraine will continue “for as long as it takes,” and Secretary of State Antony Blinken made a surprise visit to kyiv in early September to show support for him. But as the war has dragged on and military aid numbers have risen, doubts among the Democratic caucus began to creep in after the summer.
Back in September, when the Biden Administration asked Congress for an additional $13.7 billion to help Ukraine and to respond to energy supply disruptions, the administration was subjected to a barrage of questions from lawmakers from his party before to receive approval.
In part, and as Khanna pointed out, these doubts reflect those of the voters themselves: it is not uncommon that in conversations in which the war comes to the fore, citizens who declare their support for Ukraine qualify that part of the funds that are destined for the The country could be put to better use in the war against inflation — up 8.2% in September — and helping those in the US struggling to make ends meet due to high energy and food prices.
Among Republicans, doubts are even greater; and at least in one part of the formation -the closest ideologically to former President Donald Trump- they become pure and simple opposition. In May, Congress approved what has so far been the main aid package for Ukraine, for 40,000 million dollars, with the No of 11 senators and 57 Republican legislators. Those opposed to this aid demanded greater scrutiny on the final destination of the funds and tracking measures for the weapons that are sent to the battlefields. Lawmakers like Rand Paul insist that “you cannot save Ukraine by dooming the US economy.”
Although most Republicans, especially those in the old guard, support continued aid to Ukraine, the November 8 elections may significantly increase the number of more Trumpian congressmen. And, with it, the resistance to defray new aid packages to kyiv. A worrying perspective in European capitals: a breakdown of the consensus in the US, the country that has led the aid to the Government of Volodímir Zelenski, can have a serious negative impact on the support, in turn, of other Executives more vulnerable to escalating commodity prices and energy shortages.
Last week, the leader of the Republican minority in the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, promised that he would not allow the same rate of spending in favor of kyiv if – as he hopes and the polls point out – he becomes president of the institution and number three in the presidential line of succession. “Ukraine is important, but it cannot be the only thing that is done, and it cannot be a blank check,” he warned.
The so far last US assistance package was announced on October 16. A total of 725 million dollars that includes armored vehicles, anti-tank weapons and artillery ammunition, as well as high-mobility Himars rocket systems.
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