US hawk warns of Russian ‘diplomatic offensive’ on Ukraine
Washington must not fail Ukraine or it will lose against Russia, possibly as a result of Moscow’s diplomacy, former US national security adviser John Bolton has claimed.
Meanwhile, Senator Lindsey Graham has said no further aid should be sent to Ukraine “until we up ourselves” at the southern border of the US.
The opposing positions of the two Republican Russia hawks were outlined in interviews on Sunday, when they spoke to WABC 770 AM and CNN, respectively.
Bolton, who last served in the administration of President Donald Trump, told host John Catsimatidis it was “important we act quickly and get the Ukrainians the additional assistance we need.”
“If we don’t help the Ukrainians out, ultimately Russia will win,” he warned. Bolton’s concern is that President Vladimir Putin may conduct a “diplomatic offensive” to resolve the conflict.
He claimed that Russia could not beat Ukraine militarily, but called the current frontline situation a “stalemate.” Bolton said American lawmakers should pressure the White House into devising a “winning strategy” for Ukraine.
Kiev’s Western-backed counteroffensive has failed to produce a major breakthrough in the conflict with Russia this year. Moscow has estimated Ukrainian losses at more than 125,000 troops over six months.
While the US and its allies claim they intend to keep their aid flowing, political divisions and other pressing issues, such as the Middle East crisis, as well as general ‘Ukraine fatigue’ spell trouble for Kiev’s long-term prospects.
The Republican Party is divided on Ukraine, Graham told CNN’s Dana Bash, as he said he would not vote for any aid “until we secure our border.” Crossings by illegal migrants are a hot-button issue for the GOP, which has a slim majority in the House.
The party follows the lead of its more conservative lawmakers, who are opposing further funding for Kiev. Even politicians like Graham, who used to be one of the most vocal champions of the Ukraine cause and bragged in May that the Ukrainians were prepared to fight Russia “to the last person,” are wavering.
“I’m not helping Ukraine until we help ourselves,” the senator told CNN.
Moscow has long maintained that it wants to resolve the conflict diplomatically and has accused Western nations of standing in the way. Ukrainian MP David Arakhamia, who headed Kiev’s delegation at the Türkiye-hosted peace talks last year, said in a recent interview that then-UK prime minister Boris Johnson had derailed the negotiations, confirming previous accounts of the failed talks in the press.