Netanyahu, Zelensky Speak for First Time since Israeli Government’s Inauguration

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. (Photo: Government of Ukraine, via Wikimedia Commons)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky discussed continuing Israeli aid to Ukraine and the deployment of civil defense systems in the country.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by phone on Thursday with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Anadolu news agency reported, clarifying that this was “their first call in nine months and since the current Israeli government’s inauguration last December”.

Anadolu mentioned official sources as saying that “the two leaders discussed continuing Israeli aid to Ukraine and the deployment of civil defense systems in the country”.

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“I spoke with the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy,” Netanyahu said in a statement.

“We talked about continuing Israeli aid to Ukraine, including aid to refugees from Ukraine staying in Israel, in addition to continuing to promote aid and the development and promotion of civil defense systems.”

So far, Israel has refrained from providing Ukraine with weapons.

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“Aside from the occasional lip service, Israel insisted on remaining largely neutral,” Palestinian journalist and editor of The Palestine Chronicle Ramzy Baroud wrote in a recent article.

“Whatever the reasons may be, pressure is mounting on Israel to completely abandon its interests in Russia in favor of fully supporting Ukraine,” Baroud added.

Indeed, Israel’s supposed neutrality caused harsh criticism by Ukrainian officials in recent months.

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Last June, Ukraine’s ambassador to Israel Yevgeni Kornichuk strongly criticized Israel for its refusal to send weapons to Kiev, accusing Tel Aviv of maintaining a “close cooperation” with Moscow.

“The current Israeli government has chosen the path of close cooperation with the Russian Federation,” Kornichuk wrote in a statement, citing an “almost complete lack of Israeli humanitarian support to Ukraine.”

(PC, Anadolu)

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