If West sanctions Russia, Israel will join, says Israeli minister

“The unnecessary intervention of Yair Lapid and Nachman Shai in what is happening on the Ukrainian border could cause Israel to pay a high price due to populism and lack of diplomatic experience.”

By Aryeh Savir, TPS

Israel will join the West in leveling sanctions against Russia if it invades Ukraine, Minister of Diaspora Nachman Shai said.

Speaking to Israel’s Kan 11 Radio on Monday, Shai said that if the US asks Israel to join the sanctions against the Russians, “we will try to avoid reaching this place. I assume that Israel will go with the camp closer to it, the Western countries. Our loyalty is first and foremost to the United States.”

However, Member of Knesset Ofir Sofer warned that “the unnecessary intervention of [Foreign Minister] Yair Lapid and Nachman Shai in what is happening on the Ukrainian border could cause Israel to pay a high price due to populism and lack of diplomatic experience.”

Kyiv is not happy with Israel’s conduct and statements and Israeli Ambassador to Ukraine Michael Brodsky was summoned on Thursday for a clarification conversation at the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, a diplomatic reprimand, following the publication of a telephone conversation between Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister and Israel Foreign Ministry Director-General Alon Ushpiz.

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Brodsky explained at the meeting that the conversation between Jerusalem and Moscow had two purposes: to convey a message of de-escalation and to express concern for the security of Israelis.

Jerusalem is closely monitoring the developments in Ukraine and has called on its citizens and Jews in the country who wish to do so to leave immediately for Israel.

Israel again issued a stern warning to its citizens in Ukraine on Saturday night  and called on them to leave the country as soon as possible as “the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine may be swift and harsh.”