Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said on Monday that Israel will vote in favor of a United Nations General Assembly resolution condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

In a statement on Twitter, Lapid said that Israel has the moral responsibility to both condemn Russia and provide humanitarian support for the Ukrainians.

“Israel was and is on the right side of history,” Lapid said in a statement. “We have a moral duty and historical obligation to be part of the effort.”

The move comes as Israel reportedly drew criticism from the U.S. last week for failing to co-sponsor a Security Council resolution condemning Russia. Israel has been walking a diplomatic tightrope between supporting Ukraine while being careful with Russia, which has a military presence in Syria that affects Israeli operations against Iranian forces there.

“Russia is the most significant military force in Syria, and our mechanism of cooperation with them is aiding our determined struggle against the establishment of an Iranian [presence] on our northern border,” Lapid said.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said on Monday that talks are underway at the Belarussian border between Russia and Ukraine, Reuters reported.

“President [Alexander]Lukashenko sincerely hopes that during today’s talks it will be possible to find solutions to the critical issues. And all Belarusians are praying for this,” tweeted Belarus’s Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei.

The Ukrainian president’s office said earlier that Kyiv’s goal in the talks was an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian forces from the country, according to Reuters. Moscow has not commented on its aims in the negotiations.

The move comes as the U.S. State Department suspended operations at the U.S. embassy in Minsk, Belarus, and authorized the voluntary departure of non-emergency employees and family members from the embassy in Moscow.

“We took these steps due to security and safety issues stemming from the unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces in Ukraine,” the State Dept. said in a statement.

‘Together we are supporting the Ukrainian people’

Russia’s currency was down 30% against the dollar on Monday amid stepped-up economic sanctions by Western countries, according to Reuters. Several countries have also increased arms shipments to Ukraine.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke on Sunday with the foreign ministers of Ukraine, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom, as well as the High Representative of the European Union, regarding the global response to the Russian invasion, according to State Department spokesman Ned Price.

Blinken and the G7 ministers emphasized to Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kubela that they were unified in their response to the Russian attack, which Price called “premeditated, unprovoked, and unjustified.”

“Together we are supporting the Ukrainian people and imposing severe costs and consequences to hold Russia accountable for its war of choice. We stand with Ukraine and recognize the bravery and heroism of the Ukrainian people,” said Price.

U.S. President Joe Biden was expected to host a discussion with U.S. allies and partners on Monday to coordinate a united response, according to the White House.

The U.N. Human Rights Council voted 29-5 on Monday to agree to Ukraine’s request to hold an urgent debate this week on the Russian invasion, according to Reuters. Those against included Russia and China.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asked the European Union on Monday to immediately grant Ukraine membership, according to the report.

The European Union has closed its airspace to Russian planes, as has Canada, forcing Russian airline Aeroflot to cancel all flights to European destinations until further notice.


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