| 27 February 2024, Tuesday |

Israel’s Bennett speaks with Putin and Zelenskiy

On Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met with the presidents of Russia and Ukraine, proposing Israeli mediation between the two nations.

The first conversation was with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. On Twitter, Zelenskiy stated that they discussed “Russian aggression.”

Bennett initiated a call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to the Kremlin. According to the Kremlin, Putin told Bennett that taking Moscow’s security interests into consideration was one of the fundamental requirements for resolving the dispute.

Israel has good ties with both Moscow and Kyiv. While it voted with a sweeping majority at the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday to reprimand Russia for invading Ukraine, Bennett’s rhetoric has been circumspect.

At Kyiv’s behest, Bennett offered for Israel to mediate peace talks. He has also voiced solidarity with Ukraine and sent it humanitarian relief.

Officials in Bennett’s office confirmed the calls but offered no other details.

“The different players want us in a place that we are able to hold a dialogue with everyone,” Bennett said in an interview aired on Wednesday on Israel’s Channel 13.

Israel is keen to keep rank with its U.S. ally on the crisis. But it is also mindful of Moscow’s military sway in next-door Syria, where Israel regularly strikes Iranian targets. Israeli-Russian contacts prevent them trading fire by accident.

  • Reuters