Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy hinted Sunday that Russian President Vladimir Putin “probably” would have refrained from invading Ukraine if President Biden had shipped military equipment to Kyiv sooner.
McCarthy, part of a delegation of bipartisan members of the House of Representatives who traveled to Poland earlier this month amid the war, said he had firsthand experience of the “strength” of the Ukrainian people and the “devastation” that Russia is wreaking on Ukraine seen, even against women and children.
“This is going to get stronger and rougher, and what really needs to happen is that Ukraine doesn’t require American men and women to fight. All they ask is guns to defend themselves,” the California Republican told Fox News Sunday.
“If we had taken these measures earlier, instead of waiting for Russia to invade, they probably never would have invaded if we did that earlier,” he said.
Fox News Washington correspondent Mike Emanuel pointed out that the Biden administration announced last week it would provide Ukraine with an additional $800 million in military aid — $2.6 billion in total — and asked what else the government should do.
McCarthy said he didn’t think Putin feared the sanctions Biden and US allies threatened to impose on Russia ahead of its February 24 invasion.
“Ukraine craved the ability to defend itself. Had we gotten the guns into Ukraine earlier so they could defend themselves, it would have saved thousands of lives and probably Putin’s decision not to enter the country,” McCarthy told Emanuel.
“And then, after Putin came in, we had President Biden say, ‘Well, the sanctions are taking a long time to work,'” McCarthy said.
The House of GOPer has also slammed Biden for refusing to protect Ukrainian airspace with a NATO no-fly zone and rejecting an offer by Poland to allow Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets to the US air base in Ramstein, Germany send so the US could transport them to Ukraine.
The Biden administration has said it opposed the moves because they could escalate the war
McCarthy said the episode featuring the MiG fighters offered a learning experience for the US in dealing with a threat on the other side of the world.
“What we need to do is learn from here, supply Ukraine with weapons, but also look to the future of what China is doing,” he said. “Taiwan has been waiting for weapons they have already bought to defend themselves for more than a year. Let democracies defend themselves.”
China believes that democratically-ruled Taiwan is part of its territory and has condemned US arms sales to the country. Beijing has vowed to one day reunite Taiwan – by force if necessary – and has increased its military presence in the South China Sea.
The State Department earlier this month approved a potential $95 million sale of military equipment to Taiwan — the third arms package since the Biden administration took office in January 2021, according to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.
https://nypost.com/2022/04/17/mccarthy-calls-out-bidens-response-to-putin-ukraine/ McCarthy calls out Biden’s response Putin, Ukraine