Ukraine Voices Concerns Amid New Middle East Developments

From the war-torn landscapes of Ukraine, eyes now rest upon the Middle East conflict, particularly after the sudden assault by Hamas on Israel on October 7.

by Faruk Imamovic
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Ukraine Voices Concerns Amid New Middle East Developments
© Getty Images News/John Moore

The winds of global attention have undeniably shifted. From the war-torn landscapes of Ukraine, eyes now rest upon the Middle East conflict, particularly after the sudden assault by Hamas on Israel on October 7. The world watches with bated breath, adjusting their lenses to a new international crisis.

But what does this mean for Ukraine, a nation heavily reliant on international support against a looming Russian threat? US President Joe Biden, in an affirmation of America's commitment, said they would back Ukraine "as long as necessary".

A sentiment mirrored in the final declaration from the recent NATO summit and echoed by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Yet, with the US's deepening involvement in the Middle East, it begs the question, can the US stretch its resources to effectively manage both crises?

Ukraine's Fears and The Global Juggle

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky, sensing the international drift in focus, issued an impassioned plea.

He urged NATO nations not to waver in their support, warning of the potential for Russia to capitalize on the Middle East situation. Biden's retort to the looming question of dual crises management was unequivocal: "If we don't do it, who will?" Despite this, Biden faces internal strife, with the Republicans opposing further aid to Ukraine, causing a financial standstill in Congress.

Johannes Warwick, a political scientist from the University of Halle in East Germany, provided insight into this shifting dynamic. He noted a change in the US's posture towards Ukraine even before the Middle East erupted anew, pointing out a "competition for attention and resources." Warwick predicts that "the major players won't cease their support for Ukraine, but priorities are bound to shift."

European Allies: Solidarity on the Rocks?

The EU isn't immune to this change either.

Signs of wavering support have surfaced in various member nations. Notably, the Polish government's threat to slash arms aid, triggered by discontent over inexpensive Ukrainian grain imports. Slovakia, once a robust supporter of Ukraine, has shown possible hints of retrenchment.

The newly-elected Robert Fico announced during his campaign, a stark stance against ammunition aid to Ukraine. Concurrently, he advocated for mending ties with Russia. Hungary stands out as a unique case. They have consistently abstained from imposing sanctions against Russia and remain dependent on Russian gas imports.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, in what seems like a calculated move, seeks to impede further EU financial support to Ukraine. In this evolving global landscape, with priorities perpetually in flux, one can only hope that nations remember their promises and stand by allies when they need them the most. Only time will tell if Ukraine remains a central player or becomes an unfortunate bystander in this geopolitical game.

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