GOP senators signal that only way out of Ukraine-Russia war likely is ‘negotiated settlement’

GOP senators signal that only way out of Ukraine-Russia war likely is ‘negotiated settlement’

Many Republican senators are openly saying a negotiated settlement will be necessary to end Ukraine’s ongoing war with Russia, as Speaker Mike Johnson resists a vote to send additional aid to the key U.S. ally.

“The reality at this point that we have to confront is that that war ends with a negotiated settlement,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee. “And the question is — when they finally figured that out — when we finally get to that point, who has more leverage — [Russian President Vladimir] Putin or Ukraine?”

It’s a position that was unpopular just months ago, as many lawmakers declined to discuss the possibility that Ukraine might have to give up something, including territory, to end the war. But Rubio isn’t alone now. Other lawmakers, like Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio), suggested a negotiated settlement is the most likely outcome regardless of whether the U.S. sends more aid to Ukraine, which he’s opposed.

“Washington always seems to be a few months behind the reality on the ground,” Vance told POLITICO. “[I think there’s a] stalemate probably indefinitely and hopefully that leads to some sort of settlement where Ukraine gets to keep its country and the killing stops.”

The comments, now more than two years after Russia originally invaded Ukraine, reflect a view in many quarters of the GOP that Ukraine’s odds of winning the war outright are low. And, in the meantime, there’s growing Republican resistance to sending the allied country unconditional aid.

“It looks like it could go on for a long, long time,” said Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.). “That looks like a line that would take an immense amount of money and time to move off of where it is.”

Republican House leaders have so far refused to call a vote on additional aid to Ukraine amid reports its troops are running low on ammunition against Russia. Some in the Senate GOP are urging that chamber to move expeditiously to send in reinforcements.

“If the House is going to come up with their own compromise, then do it. But don’t just stall this whole thing out,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). “Do something.”

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