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Kaine and Warner support future Ukraine NATO membership, but say war must be won

FILE PHOTO - Tim Kaine (D-VA) speaks during a news conference with VoteVets outside of the U.S. Capitol building on March 13, 2024 in Washington, DC. VoteVets held a press conference with members of the military and members from the House and Senate to call on the House of Representatives to go forward with an aid bill for Ukraine. (Credit: Anna Moneymaker, Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (7News) — NATO and China are facing off over Ukraine.

This week, NATO leaders said China is a decisive enabler of Russia’s war against Ukraine.

U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine agree.

“I do,” Kaine told 7News. “China is using its industrial power to prop up Russia in this war. China, Iran and North Korea are all helping Russia prosecute this illegal war against Ukraine, and it's important to call them out for it.”

READ | Breaking down military support of Ukraine, new threats ahead of NATO Summit Day 3

“China is one of our major competitor[s] in the United States,” said Warner. “It’s not only military, but [an] economic competitor. And unfortunately, China has repeatedly sided with Putin’s illegal awful war in Ukraine. And I’m glad to see that our European allies who in the past have been a little more reluctant to call out China's bad behavior are standing with us.”

China hit back on Thursday saying NATO hyping up China’s responsibility on Ukraine is unreasonable in their view.

7News asked Warner and Kaine if they support making Ukraine a member of NATO in the future.

“I would be supportive of it,” said Kaine. “But the issue is, you know, what about the consensus among the nations? I heard the reports from yesterday that they feel like they set up a potential path for NATO membership and that's positive. But right now, the important thing is to win the war.”

“I think in the future at some point absolutely,” said Warner. “But what we first of all have to do is to make sure Ukraine is successful in pushing back Russia's brutal invasion, I'm glad there was broad bipartisan support here in the Congress. I'm glad that the frontlines in Ukraine have stabilized.”

ALSO READ | Breaking down President Biden's speech, Ukrainian support from NATO Summit Day 1

On Thursday, Warner acknowledged the war in Ukraine has cost a lot of American money.

“Yes, but Ukraine in the first two years of this war eliminated 87% of Russia’s preexisting army, 63% of their tanks, 32% of their armored personnel carriers,” said Warner. “And we didn't lose a single American or NATO soldier. And if we had not stepped up to support Ukraine, I think Putin would now be potentially preying on Poland or the Baltic nations and they are NATO nations and could have ended up having American troops in combat.”

China has expressed concern about NATO’s Pacific-region relationships.

New Zealand, Japan and South Korea sent leaders to the NATO summit in Washington, D.C. This is a sign of closer ties between those three non-NATO nations and the NATO alliance.

Source: wjla.com

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