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Pence says Trump’s war pledge to Ukraine requires him to ‘give Putin what he wanted’

Former Vice President Mike Pence on Monday rebuked former President Trump for claiming he could end the war in Ukraine in 24 hours, arguing that doing so would mean giving in to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Pence, who is running against Trump for the GOP’s 2024 presidential nomination, was asked on Fox News how he thinks the war in Ukraine will end.

“I think it ends by giving the Ukrainians what they need to win,” he said. “I mean, there’s some talk, my former running mate likes to talk about getting it done in a day. The only way to solve this war in a day is to give Vladimir Putin what he wants.”

Pence, who previously criticized Trump for praising Putin, warned that the Russian leader would likely move to neighboring countries if he could catch up with Ukraine, pointing to Lithuania, Estonia or Latvia.

“And those will be the countries where we should send our forces to fight under our NATO treaty,” Pence said. “And so I think it’s in our country’s best interest to give them what they need to put them there, repel them there. And make no mistake… [it’s] the most effective way to send a message to China that America and the West will not tolerate military aggression from Russia or from China to redraw international lines by force.”

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Trump has repeatedly claimed since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 that he could end the conflict within a day, though he has not detailed how he would do so. He has also argued that the US should not play such a significant role in sending military aid to Ukraine to fight Russian forces.

Pence, who met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Ukraine late last month, has emerged as perhaps the most outspoken GOP presidential candidate in favor of providing aid to the Ukrainians.

He has argued that while it is not a US war, the fighting in Ukraine is part of a wider fight for freedom abroad that is in the interest of the US. He has criticized the Biden administration for the pace at which Ukraine is supplying military equipment to combat Russian forces.

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