(February 27, 2022 / JNS) The Kremlin says that Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has offered to broker an end to fighting between Russia and Ukraine.
In a call on Sunday between Bennett and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Russian government said that Bennett said that Israel is ready to play mediator, the Associated Press reported. However, the report did not indicate whether the Russian leader accepted the offer.
However, a readout from the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office about the call did not mention any offer by Bennett to mediate peace.
“The two discussed the situation between Russia and Ukraine,” the Israeli readout said.
On Sunday it was announced that Ukrainian and Russian peace negotiators agreed to meet near the border between Ukraine and Belarus. Despite the tentative talks, there has been no immediate ceasefire declaration as Russian forces continue to lay siege on the country.
Israel, which has long maintained warm relations with both countries, has found itself walking a diplomatic tightrope in recent days between expressing support for Ukraine, while not outright condemning Russia’s actions.
However, Israel has come under increasing pressure from its allies in Europe and especially the United States to take a harder stance on Russia, which has found itself increasingly isolated and sanctioned as a result of its invasion.
According to a report on Israel’s Walla news site, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield dressed down Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Gilad Erdan over Jerusalem’s refusal to co-sponsor a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Russia for its invasion on Friday.
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