A group of 30 liberal politicians requested Monday that the Biden administration change its approach to supporting Ukraine by seeking negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The group, composed of Reps. Pramila Jayapal of Washington, Ilhan Omar of Wisconsin, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, and 27 other Democratic congress members from across the country urged the president to seek a diplomatic approach by negotiating a settlement and ceasefire through direct talks with Russia, according to the letter.
The group noted that they agree with the Biden administration’s resolve not to influence another government’s sovereign decisions, but feel the “tens of billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars in military assistance” gives cause for the United States to “seriously explore all possible avenues” to avoid possible nuclear war.
“We urge you to make vigorous diplomatic efforts in support of a negotiated settlement and ceasefire, engage in direct talks with Russia, explore prospects for a new European security arrangement acceptable to all parties that will allow for a sovereign and independent Ukraine, and, in coordination with our Ukrainian partners, seek a rapid end to the conflict and reiterate this goal as America’s chief priority,” the group wrote.
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The group referenced the economic benefits they predict will come from peaceful negotiations citing their belief that a ceasefire could result in lowered oil prices while also decreasing food scarcity across the world, according to the letter. The group also stated that an estimated 20% of Ukraine is occupied by Russia and their fear of nuclear war continues to grow.
“The risk of nuclear weapons being used has been estimated to be higher now than at any time since the height of the Cold War. Given the catastrophic possibilities of nuclear escalation and miscalculation, which only increase the longer this war continues, we agree with your goal of avoiding direct military conflict as an overriding national-security priority,” the letter stated.
The letter may find support on both sides of the aisle as many Republican lawmakers have previously criticized Biden’s spending in support of Ukraine. In May, Republican Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul placed a hold on a $40 billion aid package to Ukraine, citing a need for spending oversight.
“Sending $40 billion to another country without having someone look and make sure no one is stealing the money is a recipe for disaster. We were in Afghanistan for 20 years, sending $50 billion a year, and we would discover that they were building luxury hotels with our money, halfway building them, contractors were running off with the money,” Paul told WMAL host and Daily Caller editorial director Vince Coglianese.