Ukraine denies Bennett advised caving to Russia

Ukraine trusts in Israeli mediation, denies Bennett advised submitting to Russia’s demands, Reuters reports.

By World Israel News Staff

Ukraine has denied reports suggesting that Prime Minister Naftali Bennett had advised Kyiv to submit to Russia’s demands, Reuters reported Saturday.

Bennett flew last Saturday to Moscow, where he met for three hours with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Israeli leader reportedly held a number of telephone conversations with both Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky since then.

“I believe (Bennett) can play an important role, because Israel is a country with a lot of history and parallels (to our situation), as well as having a large migration of Jews from Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus,” Zelensky said in a briefing, according to Reuters.

Some Israeli and American news sites  had reported that Bennett was urging Ukraine to cave to Russia.

A senior Israeli official, who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter, called the report “patently false,” Reuters reported.

Israel, “just as other conditional intermediary countries, does NOT offer Ukraine to agree to any demands of the Russian Federation,” the adviser, Mykhailo Podolyak, tweeted. “This is impossible for military & political reasons. On the contrary, Israel urges Russia to assess the events more adequately.”

Moscow has not commented on Bennett’s efforts, although it has issued terms including that Ukraine recognize Crimea as Russian and Russian-backed breakaway areas as independent, while Kyiv says it will not cede any territory, Reuters reported.

Zelensky has said that he’s open to Israeli mediation. He and Bennett spoke Saturday night.

“The conversation, which lasted for over an hour, dealt with ways to stop the fighting in Ukraine and the efforts that Israel is making on the matter,” the prime minister’s foreign media adviser said, without elaborating.