US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of attempting to exploit the Israel-Hamas conflict to divert Western support away from Ukraine.
During a US Senate hearing on supplemental national security funding, Blinken stated that Putin aims to distract the US and hopes that it will pull back its resources from Ukraine.
"Putin is very much trying to take advantage of the Hamas attack on Israel in the hopes that it will distract us... and that it will result in the United States pulling back its resources," Blinken states during a US Senate hearing according to Economic Times.
Blinken further emphasized that halting US aid to Ukraine could send a dangerous message to other countries, potentially leading them to withdraw their support as well.
He asserted that significant burden-sharing has been observed and that it would "almost certainly go away" if the US withdraws its support.
The Future of Governance in Gaza
The Secretary of State also discussed the governance of the Gaza Strip, suggesting that the Palestinian Authority should retake control from Hamas.
He mentioned the possibility of international players and agencies filling roles temporarily for both security and governance. Blinken added that there cannot be a "reversion of the status quo with Hamas running Gaza."
US Defense Secretary's Warning
Meanwhile, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin warned that Putin would succeed in seizing Ukrainian territory if the US halts its support for Kyiv.
Austin stated that pulling support would only strengthen Putin's position in acquiring his neighbor's sovereign territory.