(NewsNation) — Republican presidential candidate Mike Pence said it’s in America’s interest to provide aid to Ukraine. The former vice president worries the U.S. military may end up having to get involved if Russia is not stopped.
“I’m convinced that if the Ukrainian military doesn’t stop and repel that Russian invasion, it’s not going to be too long before that Russian army crosses a border that our men and women in uniform are going to have to go and fight (for) under our NATO Treaty. I truly believe it,” Pence told NewsNation host Leland Vittert during a townhall appearance.
Pence said giving Ukraine the resources they need to fight, win and drive the Russian military back is also ultimately in the interest of “peace and security in the world.”
He fears that if Putin is victorious, it will encourage other world leaders seeking power.
“If Putin somehow wins either all or part of what he wants in Ukraine, I think that’s going to embolden China’s military ambitions in the Asian Pacific. You achieve peace through strength,” Pence said. “By using what amounts to 3% of our national defense budget as we have so far to support the Ukrainian military, let them push back the Russians, I think that will discourage China from its military ambitions in the Asian Pacific especially with regard to Taiwan. That’s how we achieve a more peaceful future.”
Pence seems to understand why other lawmakers to do not support aid to Ukraine and said he thinks it boils down to a “lack of confidence in Joe Biden as commander-in-chief.”
Pence isn’t the only one who has been critical of Biden’s handling of Ukrainian assistance. The leading GOP presidential contender and Pence’s former boss Donald Trump has vowed to end the war within 24 hours if he wins the White House.
“The only way you can end the war in Ukraine in 24 hours is by letting Putin have everything he wants,” Pence said.
Pence said if he is elected, he plans to build up the U.S. military and send a clear message to authoritarian regimes that America will defend its global interests.
The former vice president has struggled to gain the support of voters and is currently polling at 5%, according to RealClearPolitics averages.