Monday, May 23rd | 22 Iyyar 5782

March 10, 2022 12:53 pm

Ukraine’s President Zelensky to Address Israeli Knesset Via Zoom

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy talks during an interview with Reuters in Kyiv, Ukraine, March 1, 2022. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will address the Knesset via videoconference, it was announced on Thursday.

The embattled president, who has emerged as a global symbol of resistance following the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, had previously asked to address a full session of the Knesset via a large video screen on the Knesset plenum.

According to Israel’s Walla! news outlet, the request was declined on the basis that the Knesset is about to go into recess — prompting irritation from Ukraine, which has expressed frustration over Israel’s refusal to provide defense aid and what it sees as signs of ambivalence towards Russia during the conflict.

On Thursday, Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy’s office issued an announcement that Zelensky will address MKs on the Zoom platform.

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“It would be [Levy’s] honor to facilitate such an address as requested,” the speaker’s office said.

It said the decision was taken after a meeting between Levy and Ukraine’s Ambassador to Israel, Yevgen Kornichuk, and the speech will be delivered in “the coming days.” Levy also told the ambassador that the claim Levy had deliberately snubbed Zelensky was untrue.

“At the end of their conversation, the two agreed to be in continuous and open contact and Knesset Speaker Levy expressed his solidarity with the Ukrainian people at this difficult time,” Levy’s office said.

Separately, Zelensky has asked to deliver an address to Israel’s Holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem, which responded in a statement that it would review the proposal with Kornichuk.

Ukraine’s president has already delivered remote speeches to several legislatures, telling a full house of British lawmakers on Tuesday, “We will continue fighting for our land, whatever the cost.”

Editor’s note: this article has been updated 

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