Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) called out President Biden for his “blank-check policy” on Ukraine after the president traveled to Kyiv for an unannounced visit shortly before the one-year mark of Putin’s assault. 

DeSantis joined “Fox & Friends” Monday to discuss Biden’s first visit to the war zone since the conflict started a year ago, and why the newly allocated half-billion dollars in Ukrainian aid is unacceptable without clearly defined goals. 

“They have effectively a blank-check policy with no clear, strategic objective identified, and these things can escalate, and I don’t think it’s in our interests to be getting into a proxy war with China, getting involved over things like the borderlands or over Crimea,” DeSantis said. 


“So I think it would behoove them to identify what is the strategic objective that they’re trying to achieve, but just saying it’s an open-ended blank check, that is not acceptable,” he continued. 

Biden met with Ukrainian Pres. Volodymyr Zelenskyy during his surprise visit to Kyiv on Monday to announce the additional U.S. aid. 

KYIV, UKRAINE – FEBRUARY 20: In this handout photo issued by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, U.S. President Joe Biden signs the guest book during a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the Ukrainian presidential palace on February 20, 2023 in Kyiv, Ukraine. The US President made his first visit to Kyiv since Russia’s large-scale invasion last February 24. (Photo by Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via Getty Images)

It encompasses various military necessities including shells for howitzers, anti-tank missiles, and air surveillance radars. 

And even though the additional assistance comes on the heels of billions of American tax dollars that have already funded Ukrainian efforts in recent months, the list does not include F-16s, which Zelenskyy has requested, or new advanced weaponry. 

But DeSantis argued the war may never have happened if Biden handled various transnational issues differently, notably the withdrawal from Afghanistan and the drug crisis fueled by an open southern border. 


“I don’t think any of this would have happened, but for the weakness that the president showed during his first year in office, culminating, of course, in the disastrous withdrawal in Afghanistan,” DeSantis said. “So I think while he’s over there, I think I and many Americans are thinking to ourselves, okay, ‘He’s very concerned about those borders halfway around the world. He’s not done anything to secure our own border here at home.’ We’ve had millions and millions of people pour in, tens of thousands of Americans dead because of fentanyl, and then, of course, we just suffered a national humiliation of having China fly a spy balloon clear across the continental United States.”

“So we have a lot of problems accumulating here in our own country that he is neglecting,” he continued. 

Biden was previously scheduled to arrive in Poland on Monday per his public schedule, but instead, took a covert, 10-hour train ride to Kyiv. 

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Antony Blinken noted during his visit to Ankara, Turkey, that there are growing concerns surrounding potential Chinese aid to Russia in the form of “lethal assistance,” and that could have a significant impact on U.S.-China relations. 

His comments come on the heels of icy tension over Beijing’s spy flight in American airspace. 

“As President Biden said going back many months, when the aggression first took place, and he spoke to President Xi Jinping, he told him at that point that there would be real consequences in our own relationship were China to provide lethal assistance to Russia in this aggression against Ukraine,” he said Monday. 


Even as fears of a proxy war between Washington and Beijing loom, DeSantis noted that despite Putin’s ongoing assault, the real threat to America does not originate from Moscow. 

“The fear of Russia going into NATO countries and all of that and steamrolling… that is not even come close to happening,” DeSantis said. “I think they’ve shown themselves to be a third-rate military power. I think they’ve suffered tremendous, tremendous losses.

“I got to think that the people in Russia are probably disapproving of what’s going on,” he continued. 

“I don’t think they can speak up about it for obvious reasons, so I think Russia has been really, really wounded here. And I don’t think that they are the same threat to our country, even though they’re hostile. I don’t think they’re on the same level as a China.”

According to the United Nations, more than eight million Ukrainians have fled the country to other European countries since the war with Putin’s invasion on Feb. 24 last year. 

Fox News’ Landion Mion, Anders Hagstrom, and the Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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