Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy has called on the United States to make “major concessions” to Russia to end the war in Ukraine, which he believes does not affect US interests. In an interview with ABC News anchor Martha Raddatz, Ramaswamy stated that the war should not be a top priority for US foreign policy. Instead, he argued that the US should focus on reducing the alliance between China and Russia, which he sees as the top military threat to the US. Ramaswamy would only stop US military aid to Ukraine if Russia ends its alliance with China.
However, Raddatz expressed doubt about the viability of Ramaswamy’s approach and confronted him about how he would deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin. She also noted that Ramaswamy suggested ceding the Donbas, a Ukrainian region under partial occupation by Russia, to Russia, as part of ending the war. Ramaswamy acknowledged that he does not trust Putin but believes that Russia could be persuaded to shift away from its alliance with China if major concessions are made, including freezing the current lines of control in a Korean war-style armistice agreement.
While such a proposal would necessarily involve “major concessions” for Ukraine, including the possibility of a ban on joining NATO, Ramaswamy nonetheless argued that it would bring about an end to the war.
The conflict in eastern Ukraine began in 2014 when Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and allegedly provided support to separatist fighters in the Donbas region. The ongoing conflict has resulted in over 13,000 deaths, and despite numerous ceasefires, the fighting continues to this day.
Ramaswamy’s suggestion of major concessions to Russia in order to bring about peace in Ukraine is a controversial proposal that would require significant compromise from all parties involved. Despite acknowledging that his plan would mean that Ukraine would not be able to join NATO, Ramaswamy maintains that the end to the war would make the concessions worthwhile.