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Zelensky fears Israel-Hamas war could divert attention from Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he fears that the fighting between Israel and Hamas could divert attention from his country’s war with Russia.

“We already can see the consequences of the international community shifting (attention) because of the tragedy in the Middle East,” Zelensky said in an interview with The Associated Press published Friday. “Only the blind don’t recognize this.”

He added that he thinks a change in the amount of attention paid to the war between his country and Russia, due to the situation in the Middle East, could result in lesser economic and military assistance for Ukraine, according to the AP.

“You see, attention equals help. No attention will mean no help. We fight for every bit of attention,” Zelensky told the AP. “Without attention, there may be weakness in (the U.S.) Congress.”

Additionally, the Ukrainian president argued that American help to Ukraine also helps Americans themselves.

“In the case of Ukraine, if resilience fails today due to lack of aid and shortages of weapons and funding, it will mean that Russia will most likely invade NATO countries,” Zelensky told the AP. “And then the American children will fight.”

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) recently said he is “confident and optimistic” that supplemental funding for both Ukraine and Israel will make it through Congress. However, he did not say he would put the two together, as he wants Ukraine funding to go with U.S. border policy changes.

“We have some negotiations that are going on in earnest. In fact, I was on the flight before we landed, texting back and forth with Senate colleagues and others who are working on the negotiation,” Johnson said during a Monday event in Florida when asked about the supplemental funding package.

Ukraine aid has been tied in Congress with a deal on border security, a thorny issue that is causing its own political problems and complications in Congress.

The Associated Press contributed.

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