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Tuberville urges Biden to broker peace deal with Putin while in Europe

Nearly a year and a half after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the two countries are nowhere closer to brokering a peace deal as western nations – primarily the United States – continue to fund Ukraine’s defense to the tune of more than $100 billion in military and humanitarian aid.

Speaking with Alabama Daily News by phone on Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville said President Joe Biden, who’s currently at a NATO summit in Lithuania, “needs to go to Moscow, sit down with (Vladimir) Putin (and) get this over with” before returning to the United States. Tuberville further criticized the president for his administration caving on previous positions in sending Ukraine increasingly powerful weapons such as tanks and F-16 fighter jets.

“They’re losing thousands of people a week – on both sides, (and) we’re spending billions of dollars a week in this war,” Tuberville said. “If they don’t quit what they’re doing, they’re going to force us into a third world war, and I do not want our kids, our young men and women to have to go to another war like we fought for the last 20 years.”

President Joe Biden visits Selma, Alabama.

The United States has appropriated well over $115 billion in aid to Ukraine, dwarfing contributions from other countries, with the next-highest level of support coming from the U.K., which has appropriated just under $6 billion since the invasion last year. Biden and other NATO leaders have set restrictions, however, on the type of military aid they would send.

In January 2023, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin dismissed the idea of sending Ukraine tanks, only for Biden to “reluctantly” agree to sending M1 Abrams tanks a week later. Also in January, Biden said the United States would not send Ukraine fighter jets, though in May, the president approved allies sending Ukraine American-made F-16 fighter jets.

Last week, Biden OK’d Ukraine to receive cluster bombs – which the use of has been banned by more than 100 countries due to significant civilian casualties caused by the weapon. And in late May, Biden said the United States would not “send to Ukraine rocket systems that can strike into Russia,” though as of Wednesday, his administration is reportedly now “quietly debating” the decision.

“We’re not going to send them tanks, but we’re going to send them tanks; we’re not going to send them long-range missiles, but we’re going to send them; we’re not going to send cluster bombs, but we’re going to send them; we’re not going to send airplanes, but now we’re going to,” Tuberville said. 

“Ukraine’s not winning, and that’s what’s happening, and we’re almost out of munitions. Joe Biden needs to get on the phone and work this out with Putin, get (Volodymyr) Zelensky together, and let’s work out some kind of peace deal where everybody can go back to business and quit worrying about all this NATO stuff and make this country and this world safe.”

In Lithuania Wednesday, Biden pledged that western allies “will not waver” in defense of Ukraine, The Associated Press reported.

According to the AP, Biden pointed to the U.S. and allied response to Moscow’s invasion as a model for how to respond to other global challenges, from climate change to the rise of China, saying nations’ positions are stronger when they “build the broadest and deepest coalition.”

“Our commitment to Ukraine will not weaken,” he said. “We will stand for freedom today, tomorrow and for as long as it takes.”

According to a report from the Ukrainian newspaper Pravda, in early 2022, then-U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged Ukrainian President Zelensky not to broker a peace deal and to halt negotiations. Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett gave further credence to this claim, saying that in early 2022, the United States and its allies “blocked” his efforts of negotiating a peace deal between Putin and Zelensky.

Tuberville also suggested that NATO expansion, particularly efforts to have Ukraine join NATO, were among the root causes for the war, further suggesting that the war could have been avoided were Biden to have provided Ukraine with weapons prior to the invasion.

“The reason this war is going on is because we were pushing Ukraine into NATO before what happened,” he said. 

“I was in Ukraine three months before the war started, sat down with President Zelensky (and) he begged us to start giving him ammunition and things that they needed to deter Russia from coming in; Joe Biden wouldn’t do it.”

An abbreviation for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO is an international military alliance of primarily European and North American countries, and its expansion has been named by Putin as a primary cause for the invasion of Ukraine.

Despite a promise to the then-Soviet Union from the United States that, following the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, NATO would not expand “one inch to the east,” the 1990s and onward saw a flurry of countries east of Germany join the alliance.


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