Donald Trump says Ukraine’s survival is important to US

By Thomson Reuters Apr 18, 2024 | 3:35 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Donald Trump said on Thursday the survival of Ukraine is important to the United States, a shift in tone days before the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives is due to vote on a $61 billion aid package.

The former president did not endorse the package, and he dedicated most of his post on his Truth Social platform to complaining that America’s European allies are not spending enough to support Ukraine. Some hard-right Republicans interpreted the post as a signal that he opposes the current aid package, though Trump did not say that explicitly.

Still, the post seemed to be one of Trump’s first acknowledgements that Ukraine’s survival is an important U.S. security interest. During a CNN town hall last year, Trump refused to say whether he wanted Ukraine to win its war with Russia when questioned about the conflict.

“Why can’t Europe equalize or match the money put in by the United States of America in order to help a Country in desperate need?” he wrote on Thursday.

“As everyone agrees, Ukrainian Survival and Strength should be much more important to Europe than to us, but it is also important to us! GET MOVING EUROPE!”

Trump’s post came the day after he praised Poland, following a meeting at Trump Tower in New York with Polish President Andzrej Duda. The former president and the Polish leader discussed Duda’s proposal that NATO members spend at least 3% of their gross domestic product on defense, a campaign official said. Currently, they are required to spend at least 2% of GDP.

Republican U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson has said the chamber would vote as soon as Saturday on the Ukraine aid package, despite fierce objections from the right wing of his conference.

(Reporting by Gram Slattery; editing by Ross Colvin and Jonathan Oatis)