Senator Young on the “new tone” of the White House stance on Ukraine

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(Official U.S. Senate photo by Rebecca Hammel)

The Biden administration has been taking a harder line this week in its support for Ukraine’s efforts against invading Russian forces.

The war in Ukraine has now lasted for nearly two months with most of the fighting now centered around eastern portions of the country, especially the contested Donbas region. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said before a Senate committee this week that it’s the U.S’s goal to help Ukraine win its war with Russia.

“We see when it comes to Russia’s war aims, Russia is failing, Ukraine is succeeding,” Blinken said. “Russia has sought as its principle aim to totally subjugate Ukraine, to take away its sovereignty, to take away its independence. That has failed.”

“To the extent, the change of tone is we are actually going to help the Ukrainians win this war, as opposed to losing slowly, I think has been a positive,” said Sen Todd Young on CNN in response to the White House’s statements.

“I think the weakened state of the Russian economy, the Russian military, the Russian state’s diplomatic respect in the world, will be a byproduct of our unified efforts in the West to ensure we properly resource the Ukrainians and help see them through to a victory.”

Other lawmakers, namely Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), are concerned that the White House’s tough stance on the war in Ukraine might lead to futile efforts in trying to restore diplomatic relations between Russia and the United States.

Young retorts that right now the focus should not be a peace deal with Russia and that it should be doing whatever it takes to make Ukraine wins. He said the U.S. can’t risk “doing too little.”

A step towards doing that would be installing a U.S ambassador to Ukraine once the White House gets the U.S. embassy in Ukraine reopened.

“(We need) to ensure that we are able to get in place the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine as soon as possible, open that embassy back up,” Young said. “We heard from Secretary of State Blinken today … that there are now diplomats on the ground in Lviv investigating how to make that happen.”

Young wants a Senate vote to confirm a U.S. ambassador to Ukraine as soon as possible so they are ready at a moment’s notice once the embassy has been reopened in Ukraine. President Biden has nominated Slovak Republic ambassador Bridget Brink for the job.

The U.S has committed over a billion dollars in military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine since the war began, and Young believes the U.S. needs to keep up its support saying “if it shoots, send it” to Ukraine.

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