Putin seeking to ‘take advantage’ of Israel-Hamas war: Antony Blinken

WASHINGTON: US secretary of state Antony Blinken on Tuesday accused Russian president Vladimir Putin of making an attempt to make use of the Israel-Hamas struggle to scale back Western assist for Ukraine.
Hamas militants carried out a shock cross-border assault from Gaza that Israeli officers say killed greater than 1,400 folks, prompting Washington to hurry navy support to Israel and bolster its forces within the area, and sparking fears in Kyiv that backing for its struggle towards invading Russian forces might endure.
“Putin may be very a lot making an attempt to reap the benefits of the Hamas assault on Israel within the hopes that it’ll distract us… and that it’ll lead to the US pulling again its assets” from Ukraine, Blinken advised a Senate listening to on supplemental nationwide safety funding.
Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin warned throughout the identical listening to that Putin will reach his bid to grab Ukrainian territory if the US halts assist for Kyiv.
“I can assure you that with out our assist, Putin will probably be profitable,” Austin stated. “If we pull the rug out from beneath them now, Putin will solely get stronger and he will probably be profitable in doing what he desires to do in buying his neighbor’s sovereign territory.”
Washington is by far the largest donor of navy support to Ukraine, committing $43.9 billion since Russian forces invaded in February 2022 that has helped Kyiv regain floor seized by Moscow.
However opposition from hardline Republican lawmakers has put future help for Kyiv doubtful, and the US authorities has needed to depend on beforehand authorised support within the absence of latest funding from Congress.
Blinken stated a halt to US support for Ukraine might encourage different nations to comply with go well with.
“That is an occasion the place we have seen very important burden sharing that might nearly actually go away if we go away,” he stated.
“The message it will ship… to each one in all these nations is that the US is abandoning ship, nicely, we might as nicely do too.”
US officers have spearheaded the push for worldwide assist for Ukraine, shortly forging a coalition to again Kyiv after Russia invaded and coordinating support from dozens of nations.

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