Republican senator says Ukraine may have to cede land to Russia to end war

Ukraine may need to cede land to Russia in order to end the Russian invasion there, Republican US senator JD Vance said Sunday.

The comments underscore how a bloc of GOP lawmakers are staunchly opposed to extending US support for Ukraine nearly two years on from when the world rallied around it after Russia’s invasion of its borders.

Related: Senate Republicans block funding bill that included aid for Ukraine and Israel

“What’s in America’s best interest is to accept Ukraine is going to have to cede some territory to the Russians and we need to bring this war to a close,” Vance, of Ohio, said on CNN’s State of the Union. “The idea that Ukraine was going to throw Russia back to the 1991 border was preposterous – nobody actually believed it.”

The White House recently asked Congress for $61bn in additional aid to Ukraine. Vance and every other Republican voted to block a package this week that included aid to Ukraine and Israel, seeking stronger concessions on border security.

On Sunday, Vance – whose name is being floated as a potential running mate to Donald Trump – said the Joe Biden White House needed to articulate an end goal in Ukraine.

Related: Republicans to meet allies of Hungary’s Viktor Orbán on ending Ukraine aid

“What we’re saying to the president, and really to the entire world, is you need to articulate what the ambition is, what is $61bn going to accomplish that $100bn hasn’t,” Vance said.

Biden’s secretary of state, Antony Blinken, called for Congress to swiftly pass the aid on Sunday. Not doing so, he said, would only benefit US adversaries.

“I think the only people who’d be happy if the supplemental budget request is not voted on and approved by Congress are sitting in Moscow, sitting in Tehran, sitting in Beijing,” he said during his own appearance on CNN Sunday. “This is a time to really step up, because, if we don’t, we know what happens. Putin will be able to move forward with impunity, and we know he won’t stop in Ukraine. And he may well end up going after a [North Atlantic Treaty Organization] country. That would bring us in, given our obligations to our Nato allies.”

Vance questioned whether Russia really had the military power to attack a Nato country.

The Guardian has learned that allies of Hungary’s far-right prime minister Viktor Orbán are set to hold a closed-door meeting with Republicans in Washington on Monday, in order to push for an end to US military support for Ukraine.

Members of the Hungarian Institute of International Affairs and staff from the Hungarian embassy in Washington will on Monday begin a two-day event hosted by the conservative Heritage Foundation thinktank. According to a Republican source, some of the attendees – including Republican members of Congress – have been invited to join closed-door talks the next day.

Vance was also pressed during his interview about his party’s stance on abortion and insisted that Republicans weren’t looking to limit access to contraception after the US supreme court overturned the federal right to an abortion last year in the case titled Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

“I don’t think that I know any Republican, at least not a Republican with a brain, that’s trying to take those rights away from people,” he said. CNN host Jake Tapper then interrupted and said: “I could provide you with a list if you want.”

In a concurring opinion in the Dobbs case, justice Clarence Thomas called on the supreme court to overrule precedent establishing the right to contraception.

Senate Republicans last year blocked Democratic legislation that would have codified a right to access contraception.

Republican governors in Indiana, West Virginia and Arkansas all signed legislation since the Dobbs decision that modestly expands access to contraception, the New York Times reported earlier this year.

Still, there is deep concern that the conservative legal movement, which slowly eroded the right to abortion established in Roe v Wade before eliminating it last year, will bring the same approach to contraception as it did to abortion.

“We are on a winning trajectory,” Alan Sears, the CEO of the powerful conservative group the Alliance Defending Freedom, told the New Yorker in October. “It may be that the day will come when people say the birth control pill was a mistake.”

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