Military aid to Ukraine will escalate the crisis and worsen relations with nuclear superpower Russia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 13, 2019
Contact: press@defensepriorities.org

WASHINGTON, DC—On Wednesday night, the White House released its hold, pending national security review, on $250 million in military aid to Ukraine following intense pressure from some congressional members. Defense Priorities Policy Director Benjamin H. Friedman issued the following statement in response:

“Despite the politics involved, the United States and Russia jointly possess more than 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons—it is therefore critical our two nations find a way to co-exist. Taking steps that improve, rather than degrade, the U.S.-Russia relationship enhances U.S. and global security.

“Increased military aid to Ukraine—a nation that is not a U.S. or NATO ally—worsens U.S.-Russia relations without any justifying security payoff for Americans.

“Russia and Ukraine have a long, complicated history—and Russia’s 1,200-mile border with Ukraine means it has a strong security interest there. The United States has no such security or prosperity interests at stake.

“Ukraine cannot match Russia’s capabilities, and sending U.S. military aid may create a dangerous perception in Kiev and Moscow that the United States would support Ukraine in a direct confrontation with Russia. It encourages the continuation of the conflict there, rather than its political resolution.

“Unlike his predecessor, recently elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is attempting to negotiate a peace with Russia and the separatists in the east. Washington should support that process.”