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3 Feb, 2022 16:49

US senator ‘parroting Russian talking points’ – White House

Jen Psaki admonished Josh Hawley for telling Biden to let Ukraine defend itself and focus on China
US senator ‘parroting Russian talking points’ – White House

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Wednesday that US Senator Josh Hawley was “parroting the talking points of Russian propagandist leaders.” It comes after Hawley questioned the Biden administration’s narrative on the Ukraine crisis, arguing it was not in Washington’s interests to risk a war with Russia over the issue.

The Republican senator from Missouri wrote to Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday to question America’s commitment to eventually admitting Ukraine into NATO, a position that the US-led organization formally supported in 2008. The world has since changed, Hawley argued, and Washington should now be worried about the rise of China.

“The United States can no longer carry the heavy burden it once did in other regions of the world – including Europe. To the contrary, we must do less in those secondary theaters in order to prioritize denying China’s hegemonic ambitions in the Indo-Pacific,” he said.

Hawley said Washington’s support of Ukraine should be limited to arming it, but “our interest is not so strong, however, as to justify committing the United States to go to war with Russia over Ukraine’s fate.” He asked Blinken to answer several questions about how Ukraine’s accession to NATO would benefit US national interests, considering Russia’s opposition to it, and suggested that European allies should shoulder the burden of providing security on their continent.

Responding to a question about the letter, Psaki said people who supported this point of view were “just digesting Russian misinformation and parroting Russian talking points” and thus were not “aligned with longstanding, bipartisan American values, which is to stand up for the sovereignty of countries” like Ukraine.

That applies to Senator Hawley, but it also applies to others who may be parroting the talking points of Russian propagandist leaders.

The US has been claiming for months that Russia was about to invade Ukraine militarily, citing a build-up of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border. Moscow denied harboring such intentions and said it had the sovereign right to move its troops inside its territory however it wanted.

Amid the tension, Moscow said it would no longer tolerate the expansion of NATO presence in Europe, including in Ukraine. It demanded that the block withdrew its 2008 commitment to accept Ukraine and Georgia into its ranks and froze all enlargement. The demand was rejected by the US and NATO.