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Zelenskyy says Netanyahu ‘didn’t take up my offer to visit’

The Ukrainian president also referred to Israel's refusal to supply his country with arms.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a joint press conference in Jerusalem on Jan. 24, 2020. Credit: Office of the President of Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a joint press conference in Jerusalem on Jan. 24, 2020. Credit: Office of the President of Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he had invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to visit; however, the latter didn’t take him up on the offer.

“Netanyahu was invited to Kyiv, and I also invited the two prime ministers who preceded him [Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid] to Ukraine. In the meantime, the prime ministers change, and the result is the same,” Zelenskyy told Kan News on Wednesday.

He also said that his country had requested military support from Israel to help in its war with Russia but didn’t receive it.

“Regarding the Iron Dome and other air defense systems that we would like to receive from our partners in Israel, we asked for them at the beginning of the war. The result is like the example of the prime ministers. Months have passed, with no result,” he said.

“Ukraine is very interested in preserving the important, historical, close relations that we have. Unfortunately, there is still no result,” Zelenskyy added.

Ukraine has pressured Israel for weaponry since Russia invaded in February 2022. While Israel has provided humanitarian aid and agreed to jointly develop an air defense system for Ukraine, it has explained that it must look to its own interests first.

Netanyahu has stated that he fears if Israel sends weapons to Ukraine it could fall into the wrong hands and end up reverse-engineered and used against his country. He also said that Israel must take into account that it shares a military border with Russia and that Israeli pilots fly next to Russian pilots over the skies of Syria.

In a recent interview with a Ukrainian news outlet, Israel’s Ambassador to Ukraine Michael Brodsky pointed out that Ukraine demands Israeli support even as it votes against Israel at the United Nations 90% of the time.

In June, Ukraine’s ambassador to Israel was summoned to the Foreign Ministry after accusing Jerusalem of having a pro-Russian stance.

The dressing down took place on July 3. Ambassador Yevgen Korniychuk met with Aliza Ben-Nun, the head of the ministry’s Strategic Affairs Directorate.

The ministry said in a statement at the time: “The Israeli government continues to act and promote cooperation as agreed between the countries. The behavior of the ambassador does not help.”

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