Zelensky thanks Israel for support a day after Bennett’s meeting with Putin in Moscow

by | Mar 9, 2022 | Other News

(JTA)—Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked Israel for its support for his country, Sunday, March 6, the day after Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett flew to Moscow for a three-hour meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“I am grateful to Israel for their support for Ukraine,” Zelensky said, according to a translation published by The Times of Israel. “We need the support of all countries and we were talking about the support we need now and how we are going to cooperate in the future after the war.”

Zelensky did not mention Bennett by name, nor did he mention Bennett’s meeting with Putin. Zelensky, said March 3 that he does not feel Bennett “has wrapped himself in the Ukrainian flag” throughout the first weeks of the war.

Bennett met with Putin for three hours before flying to Berlin to speak with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. He also spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron over the phone and has spoken with Zelensky three times since the meeting with Putin.

At the beginning of the weekly Israeli cabinet meeting, Bennett said Israel had a “moral obligation” to try to negotiate between Ukraine and Russia, though he said he could not elaborate on the status of his talks with Putin and Zelensky.

Israel occupies an unusual position among Western countries due to its close relations with both Ukraine and Russia. Zelensky had previously asked Israel to serve as an intermediary between the two countries.

Israel has declined to condemn Russia as forthrightly as other Western countries since the beginning of the war. Though Israel declined to sign a U. N. Security Council resolution condemning Russia, it did sign onto a resolution by the General Assembly condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Shira Hanau