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DeSantis calls for ceasefire in Ukraine

The Florida governor earlier this year attracted criticism for his dismissal of the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian War as a "territorial dispute."

Published: April 25, 2023 9:14pm

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, during a trip to Japan, called on Russia and Ukraine to agree to a ceasefire, warning of possible mass casualties should the war continue.

"It’s in everybody’s interest to try to get to a place where we can have a cease-fire," he said in a Tuesday interview with Nikkei Asia. "You don’t want to end up in like a Verdun situation, where you just have mass casualties, mass expense and end up with a stalemate."

The Battle of Verdun was a lengthy engagement during the First World War that last more than nine months. With an estimated 750,000 killed or wounded on both sides, it remains one of the bloodiest battles in human history.

The Florida governor further called on European powers to play a greater role in handling the conflict, highlighting the contributions of Poland but noting that other countries had done little.

"The Europeans really need to do more [on Ukraine]," he asserted (parenthetical original). "I mean, this is their continent. The U.S. has provided security for them. And yes, Poland — there’s some that are doing stuff, and that should be appreciated. But Germany, they’re not doing anything."

DeSantis further insisted that U.S. allies, including those in the Pacific, needed to look to their own defense, even as the U.S. seeks to thwart Russian and Chinese expansion. He further contended that China stood as a comparable threat to the United States now as the Soviet Union did during the Cold War.

"If you look at where we are at this juncture in the 21st century, what the Soviet Union was to us, that's really what China represents in terms of the threat to the free world... In many respects, the Chinese Communist Party is stronger than what the Soviet Union was, certainly economically," he contended.

"If the Indo-Pacific is where most of the threats to us are, and that's going to be our focus, then the Europeans are going have to do more [on Ukraine]," the Republican concluded (parenthetical added).

The Florida governor earlier this year attracted criticism for his dismissal of the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian War as a "territorial dispute."

"While the U.S. has many vital national interests — securing our borders, addressing the crisis of readiness within our military, achieving energy security and independence, and checking the economic, cultural, and military power of the Chinese Communist Party — becoming further entangled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not one of them," he said at the time.

DeSantis later clarified that he had been referring to fighting in the eastern region of Donbas, where pro-Russian separatists have waged a war against Kyiv since 2014.

"What I'm referring to... is where the fighting is going on now, which is that eastern border region Donbas, and then Crimea, and you have a situation where Russia has had that. I don't think legitimately, but they had," he told Fox Nation in March.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.

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