Former Nato chief ‘sceptical’ about US aid for Ukraine continuing under Trump

Rasmussen says it would be detrimental for America’s national security interests for Russia to win war against Ukraine

Arpan Rai
Thursday 18 January 2024 07:20 GMT
File: Whistleblower complaint over Trump’s Ukraine call was credible

A former Nato secretary general has said he was “sceptical” about the US continuing to provide military aid for Ukraine if Donald Trump was re-elected as president.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen told PBS Newshour on Wednesday that it was detrimental for America’s national security interests for Russia to win the war against Ukraine. “We cannot allow (Vladimir) Putin any success in Ukraine.”

He was asked about US aid for Ukraine that has been held up by Congress, as Republicans seek to force the Democrats into passing tougher immigration controls.

If a new aid package cannot be passed under president Joe Biden’s government before the US goes to the polls in November, Mr Rasmussen said he was “sceptical” of the chances one would be agreed under a potential Trump administration,

He added that Mr Trump’s nomination as the Republican candidate for president has already changed the behaviours of international players keenly watching the US elections. “They try to hedge their bets,” Mr Rasmussen said.

“In Europe for instance, there is a great concern that a new administration might be inward looking, more isolationist, that they will leave Europe behind. I don’t think that would be in the interest of the United States, to weaken its alliance across the Atlantic,” said Mr Rasmussen, who served as Nato chief between 2009 and 2014.

While serving as the US president, Mr Trump attempted to withhold military assistance to Ukraine in order to get Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to open an investigation into Mr Biden, who Mr Trump saw as his main rival in 2020.

During an infamous press conference in Helsinki, Finland, Mr Trump sided with Mr Putin when asked if he believed Russia had interfered in the 2016 US election, as outlined by the US intelligence community.

More recently, Mr Trump has argued that all aid to Ukraine should be put on pause until federal agencies provide evidence regarding what he claimed were “corrupt business dealings” by Mr Biden and his son Hunter Biden.

During a July rally in Pennsylvania, Mr Trump argued that Mr Biden was “dragging” the US into the war.

A Trump victory in 2024 is likely to raise the possibility of the US largely abandoning Ukraine as it seeks to repel Russia’s invasion.

“My advice would be to do what it takes to ensure that Ukraine wins the war against Russia because it is detrimental for the US national security interests if Russia wins this war,” Mr Rasmussen advised US lawmakers.

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