House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Tuesday spoke at the first Parliamentary Summit of the International Crimea Platform in Croatia, a forum that was set up to discuss expelling Russia from the Crimean peninsula, which Russia has controlled since 2014.
In her speech, Pelosi said the US will support Ukraine until a Ukrainian “victory is won.” For Ukraine, victory means expelling Russia from Crimea, a scenario that Russia could consider an existential threat, giving it the pretext to use nuclear weapons under Moscow’s military doctrine.
Emine Dzheppar, Ukraine’s first deputy minister of foreign affairs, said that Pelosi’s participation in the summit means that the US supports Ukraine’s goal of driving Russia out of Crimea.
“Her participation is a direct confirmation that the issue of de-occupation of Crimea is high on the agenda in Washington,” Dzheppar said. “With such support, the return of Crimea is closer than ever.”
Russia took Crimea in 2014 after the US-backed ousting of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. Residents of Crimea voted overwhelmingly to join the Russian Federation, and while the US and its allies dispute the results of the referendum, plenty of polls conducted since 2014 show Crimeans are happy with the change.
In her speech, Pelosi also boasted that Congress has authorized over $67 billion in Ukraine aid and said more is coming. “And more will be on the way when we pass our omnibus funding bill this fall,” she said.
NBC News reported last week that Republicans and Democrats in Congress are considering passing a new massive aid package for Ukraine that would likely be attached to an omnibus spending bill. The Ukraine aid is expected to be worth roughly $50 billion, which would bring total US spending on the war to over $115 billion.