GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy released a statement on Tuesday condemning Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky after the foreign leader said elections in his country during wartime would only take place if allied countries shared the cost.
Zelensky, according to Reuters, said his country would only hold elections next year “if the US and Europe provide financial support,” adding, “I will not take money from weapons and give it to elections.”
Ramaswamy called Zelensky’s comments a “pressure campaign to secure millions in additional funding from the U.S. and European nations as a precondition for scheduling democratic elections in Ukraine.”
Zelensky’s veiled threat to forgo democratic elections in Ukraine unless the American people foot the bill and cough up another $135 million in funding represents a new level of extortion of the United States. Our nation is being duped by a leader in Ukraine willing to sacrifice…
— Vivek Ramaswamy (@VivekGRamaswamy) September 5, 2023
“Zelensky’s veiled threat to forgo democratic elections in Ukraine unless the American people foot the bill and cough up another $135 million in funding represents a new level of extortion of the United States,” Ramaswamy added. “Our nation is being duped by a leader in Ukraine willing to sacrifice his own nation’s credibility as a ‘democracy’ in a gambit to secure even more money from U.S. taxpayers. This is wrong.”
The presidential hopeful then noted that while Russian President Vladimir Putin has “acted in a craven manner,” it should not “trick the U.S. establishment into adopting the false narrative that Zelensky is a paragon of democratic leadership. He is not.”
Ramaswamy compared instances where Zelensky has “made moves that bear a striking resemblance to the tactics employed by Vladimir Putin,” including the Ukrainian president’s “banning of 11 opposition parties and the consolidation of all state media into a single entity.”
“These actions not only mirror Putin’s refusal to register opposition parties but also extensive government control over the media landscape,” Ramaswamy said.
“We have more than fulfilled U.S. commitments to Ukraine in the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, even as we have badly violated James Baker’s February 1990 ‘Not One Inch’ commitment to the Soviet Union’s then-President Mikhail Gorbachev about limiting NATO expansion,” Ramaswamy argued.
The Republican candidate said that the U.S. will be “Uncle Sucker no more” if he’s elected.
“With over $135 billion in funding already provided, Ukraine should easily be able to allocate 0.1 percent of that to pay for their election. Of course, the mainstream media and the establishment will say that any money the U.S. sends to support Ukraine is strictly ‘itemized and audited’ so that it can’t be used that way. This is a joke funnier than any Zelensky could have written in his prior career as a comedian. Don’t forget that in June, the Pentagon itself discovered an ‘accounting error’ that artificially created an extra $6.2 billion for Ukraine without Congressional approval. The notion that all money and military equipment being sent to Ukraine is being carefully tracked is deeply dishonest. Americans deserve the TRUTH,” Ramaswamy concluded.
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