Ukraine's foreign ministry has invited Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to visit the country following his remarks that the US should not become further entangled in the "territorial dispute" between Ukraine and Russia.
Oleg Nikolenko, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, countered that the conflict is more than just a "dispute" and suggested that a visit could help DeSantis understand why supporting Ukraine is in America's interest.
Nikolenko tweeted, "We are sure that as a former military officer deployed to a combat zone, Governor @RonDeSantisFL knows the difference between a ‘dispute’ and war. We invite him to visit Ukraine to get a deeper understanding of Russia’s full-scale invasion and the threats it poses to U.S. interests."
DeSantis, who served in the Navy and worked as a legal adviser to Seal Team One, made his remarks in response to Fox News host Tucker Carlson's questions about Ukraine.
He stated that while the US has many vital national interests, becoming further entangled in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia is not one of them.
Several Republicans, including 2024 hopeful Nikki Haley and Senators Roger Wicker, Lindsey Graham, and Marco Rubio, have distanced themselves from DeSantis's stance on Ukraine, highlighting a growing divide among conservatives on the issue.
Senator John Cornyn told Politico, "I hope he feels like he doesn’t need to take that Tucker Carlson line to be competitive in the primary. It’s important for us to continue to support Ukrainians for our own security."
While some Republicans, like House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, encourage support for Ukraine, others within the party, such as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, express skepticism about providing Ukraine with a "blank check."
DeSantis, who has not announced his plans for the 2024 presidential race, is rumored to be considering launching a campaign in the summer. He currently ranks second in a hypothetical GOP primary, trailing former President Donald Trump.