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Polish foreign minister has dire warning for Mike Johnson on Ukraine aid

Radoslaw Sikorski pleaded with the Republican House speaker to let lawmakers vote on aid to Ukraine, saying that not doing so could ignite a nuclear arms race in Europe.

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You must watch Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski’s chilling warning to House Speaker Mike Johnson — framed as an “appeal” — about Republicans blocking aid to Ukraine.

During an interview for Bloomberg’s “Balance of Power” series last week, Sikorski pleaded with Johnson to stop preventing Ukraine aid from reaching a floor vote. In the clip, shared widely online, Sikorski said he was making his plea on behalf of Poland but also on behalf of the entire European Union. And he explained how European countries might respond if the U.S. is seen as reneging on its duty to defend Ukraine from Russia’s invasion:

If the supplemental doesn’t go through and U.S. allies are disappointed and get the idea that the United States might not be able to help you even when the commander-in-chief wants to help you — that will have profound consequences for all of American alliances around the world. Some countries will start hedging and others will be considering developing their own nuclear weapons programs.

Sikorski’s point about how a failure by the U.S. to act in support of Ukraine could lead to a proliferation of nuclear weapons echoes previous warnings by foreign affairs experts like Fiona Hill, which I wrote about in December. And it’s sobering to hear European officials saying the same thing now, months later, as they come to terms with the very real prospect that Republicans could succeed in blocking aid to Ukraine.

Ukraine’s lackluster counteroffensive and recent retreat from Avdiivka have added to the consternation in some Western countries. After French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday that Western officials had discussed sending ground troops into Ukraine “to ensure that Russia cannot win this war,” several heads of NATO countries issued statements contradicting Macron’s claims. It’s arguable that Macron wouldn’t have made such a statement were it not for the likelihood that Ukraine is at risk of losing a key ally in its defense.

In response to the suggestion that NATO countries could send troops to Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin did some saber-rattling of his own, saying “it could actually trigger the use of nuclear weapons.” Putin, of course, has made similar claims in the last two years, and a spokesman for the National Security Council said that it is not changing its nuclear posture.

What’s inarguable, though, is that the Republican Party’s obstruction of aid to Ukraine is isolating our allies and enabling Russian aggression. That in turn is causing European countries to consider the necessity of developing their own nuclear deterrents. And all of this appears to be chipping away at the hope for stabilizing relations between Russia and the West.

Trump and his MAGA minions like to portray their opposition to foreign aid as anti-war pacifism. In reality, it seems to be making a long, potentially multinational war in Europe more likely.