Republicans who want to reduce or end support for Ukraine’s fight against Russia’s ongoing invasion will only hurt US attempts to deter China, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has warned.

The Norwegian called for the US to continue sending military aid to Ukraine and maintain a long-term American military footprint in Europe, in part to show Beijing it will not back down from authoritarians like Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“[A Russian win would] be bad for all of us in Europe and North America, in the whole of NATO, because that will send a message to authoritarian leaders — not only Putin but also China — that by the use of brutal military force they can achieve their goals,” Stoltenberg told Politico.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and China's President Xi Jinping shake hands prior to their talks on the sideline of the 11th edition of the BRICS Summit, in Brasilia, Brazil in Nov. 12, 2019.
Stoltenberg said reducing aid could have unintended consequences.
Ramil Sitdikov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File

Stoltenberg’s words came after House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy suggested last week the US would no longer “write a blank check to Ukraine” if the GOP takes over Congress after next month’s midterm elections.

The Biden administration has dubbed China the US’ foremost geopolitical challenge, with the Pentagon structuring its latest National Defense Strategy around countering a rapidly growing Chinese military.

“Russia poses an immediate and ongoing threat to the regional security order in Europe and it is a source of disruption and instability globally but it lacks the across the spectrum capabilities of [China],” the Defense Department wrote in the document.

Ukrainian volunteer military recruits take part in a weapon handling exercise whilst being trained by members of the British Armed Forces at a military facility on August 15, 2022 in South East England. Military instructors from Sweden, Denmark, Canada.
The United Sent has delivered billions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine.
Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images

Still, Stoltenberg was optimistic about support for Ukraine surviving in the new Congress, regardless of which political party gains the majority.

“I’m confident that also after midterms, there will still be a clear majority in the Congress — in the House and in the Senate — for continued significant support to Ukraine,” he said. 

The US has sent Kyiv more than $18.5 billion in military aid since President Biden took office last year, something Stoltenberg said has contributed to Ukraine’s recent success on the battlefield.



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