KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Israel’s international minister arrived in Kyiv on Thursday, the primary public go to to Ukraine’s capital by a senior Israeli official since Russia’s invasion final yr.
Eli Cohen’s go to got here simply earlier than the primary anniversary of Russian’s invasion of Ukraine, and as western nations search to extend help to the nation.
Because the outbreak of the struggle, Israel has walked a tightrope between helping Ukraine and avoiding friction with Russia, with which it has strategic regional pursuits. Not like different western nations, Israel has not imposed sanctions on Russia or Russian officers, shared intelligence or supplied Ukraine with weapons. It has supplied humanitarian help to Ukraine, together with a subject hospital.
Cohen was set to fulfill with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in addition to senior Ukrainian officers and leaders of the nation’s Jewish group as a part of the temporary journey.
It was unclear whether or not Cohen would announce larger help to Ukraine throughout his lightning go to or whether or not the go to signifies larger Israeli engagement going ahead.
Cohen stated earlier this yr that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s authorities “will certainly do one factor: publicly, we’ll discuss much less” about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, however would hold offering Ukraine with humanitarian help. Shortly after taking workplace, he spoke to Russian Overseas Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Israel maintains good working relations with each warring nations, and has massive populations of Russian and Ukrainian immigrants. Israel additionally depends on safety coordination with Russia over neighboring Syria, the place Israel has carried out tons of of airstrikes in opposition to Iranian navy positions up to now decade.
As different Western nations step up help to Ukraine, stress has constructed on Israel to share a few of its refined navy means with Ukraine, together with from the U.S.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated following a gathering with Netanyahu in Jerusalem final month that he had emphasised “the significance of offering help for all of Ukraine’s wants – humanitarian, financial, and safety.”
Yossi Shain, a former member of the Knesset’s international affairs and protection committee, stated Israel’s ultranationalist authorities — which has butted heads with the Biden administration on the difficulty of West Financial institution settlements — could attempt to achieve Washington’s favor by offering defensive capabilities to Ukraine, whereas “not crossing sure traces that may endanger its lesser involvement due to the threats of Russia” in neighboring Syria.
Final yr, Israel’s former prime minister, Naftali Bennett, tried briefly to mediate between the edges, flying to Moscow shortly after Russia’s invasion and assembly with President Vladimir Putin. Bennett stated an interview earlier this month that Putin assured him on the time that Russia wouldn’t kill Zelenskyy.