More US Republican senators want Ukraine peace talks – Politico

Aprilia Rine

More US Republican senators want Ukraine peace talks – Politico

There seems to be growing opposition in Washington to funding the conflict indefinitely

Several prominent Republicans in the US Senate have openly advised Kiev to negotiate, as the $61 billion in economic and military aid remains stalled in the House of Representatives.

Politico published quotes from three lawmakers on Tuesday, adding that their remarks “reflect a view in many quarters” of the party that Ukraine is unlikely to win.

“The reality at this point that we have to confront is that that war ends with a negotiated settlement,” said Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. “And the question is – when they finally figured that out – when we finally get to that point, who has more leverage, [Russian President Vladimir] Putin or Ukraine?”

His sentiments were echoed by Senator J.D. Vance of Ohio, who along with Rubio voted against sending more money to Kiev.

“Washington always seems to be a few months behind the reality on the ground,” said Vance. He called the situation on the front “a stalemate probably indefinitely” and added that “hopefully that leads to some sort of settlement where Ukraine gets to keep its country and the killing stops.”

The conflict looks “like it could go on for a long, long time,” said Senator Mike Braun of Indiana, who also opposed the additional funding, adding that it would “take an immense amount of money and time” to move the frontline from where it was.

Though many in Washington have described the situation on the front as a “stalemate,” Russian troops have actually advanced steadily since taking the key Ukrainian stronghold of Avdeevka earlier this month.

Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin urged his colleagues to “face reality” in a speech at an oversight hearing on Tuesday. “The reality is that Vladimir Putin will not lose this war,” Johnson said. “Every day that this war goes on… more of Ukraine gets destroyed.”

US Senate Republican leader says he will retire

On February 12, the Senate had voted 70-29 to approve the $95.3 billion bill that would fund Kiev’s war effort to the tune of over $60 billion. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and 21 other Republicans joined most of the Democrats in backing the bill. 

On Wednesday, McConnell announced he would be retiring from the leadership position in November, but insisted he would serve out the rest of his term through January 2027. In his speech in the Senate, McConnell said he was “unconflicted about the good within our country and the irreplaceable role we play as the leader of the free world,” vowing to defend American exceptionalism “for as long as I am drawing breath on this earth.”

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