State Department Spokesman Ned Price defended the Biden administration’s policy of aid for Ukraine as part of a “foreign policy for the middle class” during a press briefing Tuesday.
One reporter asked Price how the administration felt about the fact that the U.S. has given more than double the aid to Ukraine that Europe has, and how the immense spending on weapons and other aid for Ukraine to defend itself against Russia’s invasion comports with President Joe Biden’s campaign promise to implement a “foreign policy for the middle class.”
“The costs of this are not insignificant. In fact, to the contrary, they are significant. The costs of inaction would be far greater,” Price said, without going into specifics about those costs.
“We are taking steps to, in this case, make clear to the Russian Federation that a land grab, that a territorial conquest, that this kind of naked aggression and brutality against a peaceful neighbor is not something that the world will countenance in the 21st century.”
Price then went on to make a veiled reference to China and Taiwan, warning if the U.S. did not come to the defense of Ukraine against Russia, it would send the wrong message to other actors in Europe or the Indo-Pacific.
“Were countries to, in Europe and the Indo-Pacific, were they to come away with the opposite impression, the costs of this would be far greater, including to the American people,” he said. (RELATED: Ukraine Officially Applies To Join NATO As Russia Threatens Nuclear Attack)
The Biden administration has embraced a strategy of multilateralism and repairing international institutions and partnerships after the Trump administration took a more isolationist stance in some aspects of its foreign policy. Price said this was another example of how Biden’s foreign policy is good for the middle class, because as a result, he claimed, the U.S. is not bearing the cost of holding Russia accountable alone, but instead sharing that cost with its partners and allies.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began in February, the U.S. has given more than $17 billion worth of aid to Ukraine.