Ukraine’s ambassador to Israel tells press that his country is depending on Israel’s “behind-the-scenes diplomacy”
Nicole Jansezian | February 25, 2022
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reportedly asked Prime Minister Naftali Bennett if Israel could serve as a mediator between Russia and Ukraine and host talks in Jerusalem, according to an Israeli media report. Kan public broadcaster reported that Zelenskyy made the request in a phone conversation between the two leaders on Friday. Israel has ties with both countries and has not outright condemned Russia for its invasion, but has promised humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
According to the Israeli prime minister’s foreign media advisor, Bennett offered assistance and updated President Zelenskyy on steps already taken in this regard. “Prime Minister Bennett reiterated his hope for a speedy end to the fighting, and said that he stands by the people of Ukraine in these difficult days,” the statement said.
The Russian military is entrenched in Syria on Israel’s northern border, creating a precarious situation for Israel in choosing sides.
Also on Friday, Ukraine’s Ambassador to Israel Yevgen Korniychuk told The Jerusalem Post that his country was depending on the “behind-the-scenes diplomacy that Israel can accomplish on behalf of Ukraine.” “That is what we value most from Israel. This is something that we believe Israel is good on,” Korniychuk said. “You [Israel] are a unique country. You are the only democracy that has great relations with both, with the Russian leadership and the Ukrainian leadership.”