Compromise or catastrophe: Israel’s advice to Ukraine’s Zelensky

Notably, Putin is not demanding that Zelensky leave office, dismantle his government or leave Ukraine.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

The Israeli government reportedly believes that Ukrainian president Volodomyr Zelensky must seriously consider agreeing to a compromise floated by Russian president Vladimir Putin or risk an escalation in the fighting that could devastate Ukraine.

An Israeli official speaking to Axios said that while Israel and other Western countries are not urging Zelensky towards a specific course of action, they are extremely concerned that his refusal to accept Putin’s compromise could result in disastrous consequences for the embattled Eastern European nation.

Putin has said that he will withdraw Russian troops from Ukraine if the country commits to neutrality and pledges never to join NATO, as well as allow the ethnically and culturally Russian-majority Donetsk and Luhansk regions to become independent republics.

Notably, Putin is not demanding that Zelensky leave office, dismantle his government or leave Ukraine.

The senior Israeli official told Axios that Zelensky’s choice is essentially to accept losing the disputed Donbas region while remaining in power and ending the violence, or reject Putin’s proposal and subject Ukraine to what will likely be a catastrophic attack against the country.

The official added that Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has not developed an original peace plan or compromise agreement — rather, he is serving as a messenger between Putin and Zelensky.

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While Israel has carefully toed the diplomatic line to maintain warm relations with both Kyiv and Moscow, there are signs that the Jewish state is losing patience with Ukraine’s demand that Israel openly take their side.

Last week, Ukraine’s envoy to Israel complained that Israel had sent humanitarian aid, such as medicine and water purification kits, but no military supplies or weapons.

After a false accusation on Sunday by Ukraine’s Foreign Minister that an Israeli airline was circumventing sanctions on Russia and accepting money “soaked in Ukrainian blood,” Bennett’s office reportedly sent a strongly worded complaint to Zelensky’s office.

Ma’ariv reported that Israel asked Ukraine to tone down its criticism of Israel, as Jerusalem is diligently working as a mediator between Putin and Zelensky.