WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Senator from Ohio Rob Portman entered southern Ukraine over Memorial Day weekend.
He was visiting three Eastern European countries to learn about Russia’s war as it approached the 100-day mark.
Three days earlier, Portman said the United States and its allies needed to come up with a long-term plan to help Ukraine as it tries to win the war.
“There’s going to be a period here where they have to rebuild and get back on their feet,” Portman said in a Capitol Hill interview. “I think the global community needs to take a step forward.”
In Washington, Portman co-chairs the Ukrainian Senate Caucus and has delivered 13 Senate speeches on the war since it began.
The United States has committed about $54 billion to Ukraine this year, but Portman said more is needed to ensure Ukraine can maintain its independence from Russian President Vladimir Putin.
He argues that the results of this war could send a message to the rest of the world.
“If Putin can actually enter a neighboring country which is an ally of ours, a democracy, take over the country, ruin the country, what will happen with regard to China and Taiwan?” said Portman. “What will happen with regard to Iran and the Middle East, including Israel? What is going to happen globally, in terms of world order? So it’s certainly not in our national security interests for Putin to win.”
But not all Republicans agree with Portman, who will retire from the Senate later this year.
JD Vance, the Republican nominee in the race to succeed Portman, made headlines in February for his comments on Ukraine on Steve Bannon’s “War Room” podcast.
“I have to be honest with you. I don’t care what happens to Ukraine one way or another,” Vance said. in the interview. He backed off his comment slightly in stride.
Portman argues that the United States and its allies should support countries like Ukraine that are trying to embrace democracy and a free market economy.
He said alliances like NATO are important to maintain and that the United States should set an example for other countries.
“We should run the world,” Portman said. “We shouldn’t do it on our own. We need a lot of help and there are now 40 countries around the world stepping forward and providing assistance, including military assistance, to Ukraine. This is a good thing.”