Republican opponent of US aid to Ukraine brings his case to an international conference

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US Sen J. D. Vance speaks at the Munich Security Conference at the Bayerischer Hof Hotel in Munich, Germany on Feb 18. (AP)

MUNICH, Feb 18, (AP): A Republican opponent of new US funding for Ukraine argued at an international security conference Sunday that the package stuck in Congress wouldn’t “fundamentally change the reality” on the ground and that Russia has an incentive to negotiate peace.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, US Vice President Kamala Harris and others have advocated passage of the $60 billion in aid at the Munich Security Conference, which coincided with Ukraine withdrawing troops from the eastern city of Avdiivka after months of intense combat.
But Sen J.D. Vance, an Ohio Republican and ally of Donald Trump, said “the problem in Ukraine … is that there’s no clear end point” and that the US doesn’t make enough weapons to support wars in eastern Europe, the Middle East and “potentially a contingency in East Asia.”
House Speaker Mike Johnson insists he won’t be “rushed” into approving the $95.3 billion foreign aid package from the Senate that includes the help for Ukraine, despite overwhelming support from most Democrats and almost half the Republicans.
If the package goes through, “that is not going to fundamentally change the reality on the battlefield,” Vance argued, pointing to limited American manufacturing capacity.
“Can we send the level of weaponry we’ve sent for the last 18 months?” he asked. “We simply cannot. No matter how many checks the US Congress writes, we are limited there.”
“I think what’s reasonable to accomplish is some negotiated peace,” he said, arguing that Russia, Ukraine, Europe and the US all have an incentive to come to the table now and that the two-year-old war will at some point end in a negotiated peace.
Ricarda Lang, a co-leader of one of Germany’s governing parties, the Greens, responded that Russian President Vladimir Putin has shown repeatedly “that he has no interest in peace at the moment.”
Halting weapons supplies to Ukraine now would mean that “either you are prolonging the war or you give up Ukraine and Putin wins,” she said.

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