Senator J.D. Vance walks out of meeting with Zelensky and calls his pleas for more U.S. aid “utterly disgraceful”
12/14/2023 // Cassie B. // Views

Senator J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) has been very vocal about his opposition to the U.S. providing financial support to Ukraine as it attempts to defend itself against Russia, and he reached his breaking point this week when he walked out of a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

While Vance drew some criticism for leaving the meeting early, it is worth noting that some senators did not go at all because of their opposition to providing more aid to Kiev. In fact, the general consensus was that there was little Zelensky could say that would convince many Republicans that this issue somehow deserves more attention and money than the migrant crisis in the United States.

During the meeting, Zelensky reportedly addressed questions about potential corruption in the country and concerns that American aid money was being used by people in power for lavish purchases such as yachts.

The Ukrainian president visited the U.S. in hopes of convincing the government to shell out billions more in taxpayer dollars to help support his war. Vance, like many lawmakers, believes the money would be better spent addressing domestic issues like border security.

Last week, a bill that sought to spend more than $110 billion on overseas security, with more than $60 billion earmarked for Ukraine, was blocked in the Senate as Republicans called for tighter immigration controls along the U.S. border with Mexico.

Vance told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham that Zelensky’s pleas for more money are “utterly disgraceful.” He also took issue with Zelensky accusing those who would rather spend money on securing the border than giving Kiev a handout of being “puppets” of Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

"Right now, people in Ohio can't afford food. Young people can't afford to buy homes. We're paying for [Ukraine's] government… We've got to focus on our own problems," he said.

Vance says Ukraine will have to cede some territory to Russia

Ahead of Zelensky’s visit, Vance appeared on CNN’s State of the Union last week, where he told host Jake Tapper that he opposes sending more aid to Ukraine because he does not think they will ever succeed in overpowering Russia. He also asked why sending additional funds would make any difference when we have already sent them billions of dollars and it has not succeeded in ending the war.

He said: “What’s in America’s best interest is to accept Ukraine is going to have to cede some territory to the Russians, and we need to bring this war to a close.”

Vance also argued that diplomacy is the only way out of the situation. “But on the Ukraine question in particular, everybody knows, everybody with a brain in their head, Jake, knows this was always going to end in negotiation,” he told Tapper. “The idea that Ukraine was going to throw Russia back to the 1991 border was preposterous; nobody actually believed it.”

The war between Ukraine and Russia will hit its two-year mark in winter, and the Ukrainian counteroffensive against Russia, which has been going on for six months, has not been successful. Ukrainian troops have reportedly lost more than 125,000 military personnel and thousands of items of heavy equipment, while men who are eligible for the draft there have been attempting to flee the country in droves.

Vance told Tapper that the average age of soldiers fighting in the Ukrainian army is now 43, and if the situation continues, the average age will only get older, something he called a “tragedy.”

Referring to money the U.S. has already sent Ukraine, he added: “What is $61 billion going to accomplish that $100 billion hasn’t?”

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