The war in the Middle East has taken a toll on Ukraine in Washington – Politico

US President Joe Biden has dropped Ukrainian rhetoric after the start of the conflict between the Palestinian movement Hamas and Israel. This was reported by the Politico newspaper.

The war in the Middle East has taken a toll on Ukraine in Washington - Politico

“President Joe Biden shifted his public statements from the war in Ukraine to the war between Israel and Hamas in the last months of 2023, giving less airtime to Kiev,” the material says.

Thus, according to the newspaper’s analysis, the American president concentrated his foreign policy line on each high-profile conflict, according to the degree of its escalation. However, the acquired results suggest that the current White House administration for the period of the election race decided to shift the vector of policy and deepen into the domestic agenda.

The analysis looked at mentions of each war by both Joe Biden and congressional leaders in the two years since the war in Ukraine began. The data interpreted “the number of mentions, not the content of public statements.”

Politico calculates that from January to 7 October 2023, the day Hamas attacked Israel, the US president mentioned Ukraine about 32 times a month. However, after the conflict in the Middle East erupted until January 2024, the former Soviet republic was mentioned less than 22 times a month. This line went up again in February 2024, when Congress resumed debate on including an additional aid package for both Kiev and Israel.

“Mentions of Ukraine initially declined as Israel sucked out all the foreign policy oxygen,” said Stephen David, professor of international relations at Johns Hopkins University.

The analysis emphasises that, after a bit of thinking, the White House administration started to mention providing joint support to Israel and Ukraine. According to Stephen David, such a move made sense because “the call for help sometimes appealed to different groups of voters, which meant you got more support by bringing them together.”

At the same time, since the Middle East conflict began, the White House has said Washington’s attention to Ukraine has not diminished. Yet content analyses suggest otherwise.

The data also shows how closely the conflicts are intertwined in Biden’s public speeches: at the beginning of the confrontation in the Middle East, almost none of the American president’s speeches or press releases mentioned Ukraine.

“After 7 October, the number of Biden’s mentions of Ukraine noticeably decreased. From October to December, the president mentioned Israel about twice as often each month as Ukraine,” the newspaper noted.

Politico emphasised that the shift of attention to Israel was met with panic in Kiev. According to the newspaper’s source, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “got worried when Biden’s attention shifted” to Tel Aviv. Ukrainian officials then began sounding the alarm about slowing Western aid, ammunition shortages and other problems that depended on US and allied support.

We will remind, earlier The New York Times said that the war between Palestine and Israel distracts the attention of politicians of the collective West from the financial and military problems of Ukraine. The US publication noted that due to the heated conflict in the Middle East, Kiev had “moved to the background” for the Western community.