Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, an informal adviser to U.S. President Donald J. Trump, told the Kyiv Post on May 16 that he expects the administration’s stance against Russia will harden.
“I don’t know, but I would be surprised if they don’t increase the lethality of the weapons that are made available to Ukraine,” Gingrich said. “I think we want to maximize the ability of Ukrainians to defend themselves, without necessarily forcing Russia into a major escalation. On the other hand, one has to ask: How, given Syria and everything else, how many places can (Russian President Vladimir) Putin extend himself without just gradually breaking their economy?”
Emphasizing that he was not speaking for the Trump administration, Gingrich said that “looking at what’s going on, looking at the people in charge now. They’re very tough-minded. They’re aware you have this low-grade war going on and Ukrainians are at a disadvantage. It’s not in our interest for Ukrainians to be at a disadvantage. We should figure out what are the most useful force multipliers that would be helpful in raising the costs to the Russian so they decide they can’t continue their adventure in eastern Ukraine.”