Israel Says Russia No Longer Wants to Depose Zelenskyy – Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said this week that Russian President Vladimir Putin has backed down on his demands for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to be removed from office, and that Ukraine completely demilitarized.
It comes after Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov outlined four demands that Ukraine must meet to immediately stop Russian military action in Ukraine – one of which was that Ukraine ends all military activity.
The Jerusalem Post reports that the Israeli Prime minister, who has for weeks attempted to negotiate peace between Ukraine and Russia, said that Ukraine is no longer demanding to join NATO and that Russia is no longer looking for Zelenskyy to be deposed.”We will continue together with our other friends in the world to try to bridge [between the sides] to put an end to the war, this is the best thing that can happen,” Bennett said.
Israel to Maintain Relations with Kiev
In the same statement, Bennett explained how he has positioned Israel in a way that allows “continuous communications” with both Russia and Ukraine in the hope that they can help mediate an agreement between the two countries.
Speaking on the tarmac at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport, Bennett said his country is managing relations with Ukraine and Russia in a “sensitive, generous and responsible way while balancing various and complex considerations.
His comments come after Ukrainian President Zelenskyy asked Israel for weapons and invoked the Holocaust to appeal for aid. In a video released on Sunday, the Ukrainian president called on Israel to pick a side.
“One can ask for a long time why we can’t accept weapons from you or why Israel didn’t impose sanctions against Russia, why you are not putting pressure on Russian business,” he said. “It is your choice, dear brothers and sisters.”
Big Issues Still in Dispute
According to a transcript from Bennett’s office, the Israeli Prime minister said in a speech that there is still a “long way to go” with discussions, and that some of the issues still in dispute are “fundamental.”
While Russia and Ukraine may be coming closer to an agreement, the Kremlin is still demanding that Ukraine make changes to its constitution, recognize Crimea as Russian, and recognize the independence of two Pro-Kremlin regions of Ukraine, Donetsk and Luhansk.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.