Russia will attack NATO if Ukraine falls, Mike Pence warns – National


Former United States vice president Mike Pence says that he believes Russia will attack NATO if it overpowers Ukraine, emboldening other authoritarian regimes like China.
He called on Republican and Democrat lawmakers to fund Ukraine’s defence as well as that of Israel and Taiwan.“If Vladimir Putin were able to overrun Ukraine… I think it would not be very long before we cross the border that our men and women would have to go and fight under Article Five,” he said, referencing the NATO founding principle that alliance members will defend each other if one is attacked.The former vice president said if Russia were to overrun Ukraine, “it would not be long before we saw action in the Taiwan Straits or somewhere in the South China Sea,” because Chinese President Xi Jinping is watching to “see if the West falters.” Story continues below advertisement

“We’re living in a time of widening threats but I believe the gathering storm we face is even greater, the potential for threats to the free world are even greater,” he said in Belgium on Thursday to a forum for the German Marshall Fund of the United States, a Washington-based think tank.“There’s no substitute for American leadership.”

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He called on American lawmakers to support a proposal from Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson to send billions of dollars to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.

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Republicans control the House of Representatives and several have spoken out against supporting Ukraine further. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a hardline Republican, filed a motion to force Johnson to vacate the speaker position over the matter.Former president Donald Trump, during a CNN town hall last year, refused to say whether he wanted Ukraine to win the war, though on Thursday he posted on Truth Social that the country’s survival is important to the United States.

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Pence did not mention anyone specifically but spoke against what he identified as a rising tide of isolationism creeping into the Republican and Democrat parties, saying “weakness arouses evil.”“Isolationism is never the answer to tyrannical regimes with expansionist intent. And I believe the majority members of Congress understand that.”

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“There are those who think that if we continue to support the Ukrainian military with resources that will somehow lead us to World War Three. I believe the opposite is true,” Pence said, adding that pushing back against authoritarians will prevent it.“I believe the real lesson of history is when we falter in our commitment, when we don’t take tyrannical regimes seriously and we don’t take dictators at their word, that risks the freedom of the world,” he said. Story continues below advertisement

Representatives are set to vote on the bills for US$95-billion in aid on Saturday.—with files from Global News’ Sean Boyton and Reuters’ David Morgan and Graham Slattery.

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