(February 6, 2023 / JNS) Ukraine has submitted to Jerusalem a set of demands ahead of Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen’s planned visit to Kiyv.
Ukraine has requested that the Israeli government issue a clear statement condemning Russia’s invasion of the European nation and in support of its territorial integrity.
Kiyv is reportedly also requesting approval for a loan of $500 million, backing for President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s peace plan calling for a total withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukrainian territory, access to medical services and treatment in Israel and the joint development of missile-defense technology.
The list of demands was reportedly submitted to the previous Bennett-Lapid government but was not approved at the time.
Cohen is set to visit Kyiv this week for the full re-opening of Israel’s embassy. He is slated to meet with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba and possibly Zelenskyy.
It comes as Russia on Wednesday warned Israel against arming Ukraine, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicated he was considering providing military assistance to Kyiv and was willing to mediate.
“We say that all countries that supply weapons [to Ukraine] should understand that we will consider these [weapons] to be legitimate targets for Russia’s armed forces,” said Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova.
“Any attempts—implemented or even unrealized but announced—for the supply of additional, new or some other weapons will lead to an escalation of this crisis. And everyone should be aware of this,” she added.
Speaking in Israel a day earlier, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Jerusalem should be doing more to support Ukraine from a security perspective.
Standing alongside Netanyahu, Blinken said that “Russia’s ongoing atrocities” underscore the importance of “providing support for all of Ukraine’s needs—humanitarian, economic and security.” He implied that this support was an international responsibility.
Israel has refrained from providing weapons directly to Ukraine, as doing so could risk undermining the Jewish state’s security.
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