(August 18, 2019 / JNS) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu headed to Ukraine on Sunday for a two-day visit. He is scheduled to meet with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky and to take part in a memorial ceremony at Babi Yar, the notorious site where tens of thousands of Jews were murdered during World War II.
Netanyahu’s visit to Kiev is the first by a sitting Israeli prime minister in 20 years.
Reports suggest that Netanyahu may seek to mediate between Moscow and Kiev, as Israel maintains good relations with both countries.
Quoting unnamed political sources, Israeli daily Haaretz reported on Sunday that the visit, which comes just a month before Israel’s general election, is an attempt to curry favor with Russian-speaking voters, many of whom vote for Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu Party. Sources close to the prime minister denied the claim, the report stated.
In January, Israel and Ukraine signed a free trade agreement, and plan to work together to address mutual cultural and business needs.
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