As Donald Trump Jr calls Volodymyr Zelensky an 'ungrateful international welfare queen', Europe must shore up support for Ukraine – Scotsman comment
However, not everyone appeared impressed. Several right-wing Republicans, including Matt Gaetz of Florida and Lauren Boebert of Colorado, remained pointedly seated, although they stood at the end.
Earlier, Donald Trump Jr, the ex-president’s son and adviser, dismissed the Ukrainian president as “an ungrateful international welfare queen”, remarks that should be read in the context of his father’s repeated praise for Putin, right up to the invasion of Ukraine. Last month, Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican representative and ally of party leader Kevin McCarthy, told a rally “under Republicans, not another penny will go to Ukraine”.
With the Republicans soon to have a slim majority in the House of Representatives, no wonder President Joe Biden hopes to push through a $45 billion aid package for Ukraine before they take over.
During a press conference with Biden and Zelensky, the US president insisted he was “not at all worried” about the pro-Ukraine alliance of nations staying together. However, asked why he could not give Ukraine everything it needed, he said that to give military material “fundamentally different” to the current supplies “would have a prospect of breaking up Nato and breaking up the European Union..." His precise meaning was unclear but he suggested later that EU countries were more cautious about antagonising Putin for fear of war with Russia.
However, the UK and EU need to be alive to the possibility that they will have to increase their support for Ukraine, if the US Republicans’ manage to reduce American aid.
Putin apparently believes he has the ‘strategic patience’ – based on contempt for his own soldiers' lives – to outlast the West. But if Ukraine is defeated because of western war-weariness, Putin will emerge in an even more powerful position, and set for the next stage of his attempt to rebuild the Soviet empire. Annexing Belarus in a new ‘Anschluss’ would be one step, invading the Baltic states, despite their Nato membership, another.
Putin must be beaten on the battlefield and forced to the negotiating table. Only then will his dictator’s spell over Russia be broken. The West must go the distance.
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