It's not just about Ukraine and "freedom in Europe," said the minister. Russian President Vladimir Putin is fighting against all democracies worldwide. “That’s why we have to stand together as one.” Baerbock added: "If Putin wins this war, what kind of sign would that be for other dictators in the world, like Xi (Jinping), like the Chinese president?"
In the Fox News interview, Baerbock also addressed criticism from the opposition Republicans about the massive aid to Ukraine from the government of US President Joe Biden. The Green Minister said she understands questions about inflation and rising food prices. "We have the same discussion in Europe. But we always have to ask ourselves what would happen if we didn't support Ukraine. And the price would be so much higher."
There are numerous critical voices among Republicans regarding the billions of dollars in US support for Ukraine. Former president and favorite presidential candidate Donald Trump has called for Europeans to do more to support Ukraine.
The US is Ukraine's main supporter in the defensive war against Russia - and President Biden has asked Congress for billions more. With their narrow majority in the House of Representatives, the Republicans can block new aid to Ukraine.
Baerbock met Republican representatives and senators during her visit to Washington on Thursday. She then admitted in front of the Capitol that there were “different views” on aid to Ukraine within the conservative party. She heard “republican voices who had many questions about support for Ukraine.”
“I have also heard from many that it is clear to them how important continued support for Ukraine is - for us Europeans, for Ukraine itself, of course, but especially in these geopolitically challenging times,” said Baerbock. Many Republicans have made it clear "that for them supporting Ukraine is central and important because it is also supporting the rules-based international order."
The question of the Republicans' stance on aid to Ukraine also arises in the longer term. The opposition party has a chance of retaking the White House in the presidential election in November 2024. In the party's primaries starting in January, former President Trump, who has repeatedly spoken highly of Russian President Putin, is the overwhelming favorite.
Baerbock began her trip to the USA on Tuesday in the state of Texas and met, among others, the ultra-conservative Governor Greg Abbott. On Thursday she held political talks in Congress and only met Republican representatives and senators. When asked why she did not meet any Democratic parliamentarians, Baerbock replied that she already had regular contacts with the Democrats at the government level.
Baerbock wanted to meet US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday evening. Further discussions with Blinken and a joint press conference are planned for Friday. From Washington, the minister will travel to New York, where she will take part in the general debate at the UN General Assembly next week.