In a recent interview with the Associated Press, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed concerns that the escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas could divert crucial international attention and support away from the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
This comes at a pivotal moment when Ukraine heavily relies on external support for its defense against Russia.
While President Zelenskyy did not elaborate on the direct impact on military aid or financial assistance, he emphasized the significance of sustained global focus on Ukraine. “The war here is large, complex, and global, the biggest since World War II.
Therefore, we understand the challenges if our allies' attention is scattered. Attention equals help," Zelenskyy stated.
The emergence of the Middle East crisis coincides with an election year in the United States, a period during which aid to Ukraine is expected to face intensified scrutiny.
Zelenskyy also highlighted the onset of winter as a new phase in the war, which poses additional challenges not only at the front lines but also for the civilian population and grain exports.
The Ukrainian President acknowledged that the summer counteroffensive did not yield the expected breakthroughs, largely due to a shortfall in anticipated weapons from allies. He stressed the importance of not retreating and continuing the fight despite these setbacks.
To reduce dependency on foreign weapons, Zelenskyy aims to bolster domestic arms production in Ukraine. He seeks Western support in the form of licenses for weapon production and repair, as well as favorable loans to finance these initiatives.
Additionally, Zelenskyy emphasized the need to prevent Russia from circumventing sanctions for weapon production. He believes that a self-sufficient Ukrainian military industry could be a significant deterrent to Russian aggression.
In the U.S., Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer indicated that bills concerning assistance to both Ukraine and Israel would be discussed in Congress soon. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen reaffirmed that military support for Ukraine, alongside assistance to Israel, remains a priority for the White House.