Sunday, May 22nd | 21 Iyyar 5782

March 24, 2022 12:15 pm

Ukraine Wants Israel Among Guarantors of Future Deal With Russia, Zelensky Advisor Says

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (L) and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin talk during a meeting at the Bocharov Ruchei residence. Yevgeny Biyatov/POOL/TASS

One of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s top advisors told Israeli media on Thursday that Ukraine wants Israel to be “one of the countries to give a guarantee for any future agreement between Ukraine and Russia.”

Such an international agreement lends itself to “a large list” of potential guarantors, said Andriy Yermak, head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, in a statement shared by his office.

Yermak also addressed the question of whether Israel will hold a summit between the two sides in Jerusalem, as Zelensky has suggested.

Speaking of Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who has been involved in diplomatic efforts to broker an end to the fighting, Yermak said, “I’m sure that Bennett will do everything so that a meeting like this will succeed — we’ll see if he’s successful.”

“I think that it’s very important that a meeting like this be held in Jerusalem,” he said, adding that Israel “can play a significant role in the talks.”

Yermak, however, did not express optimism about the current state of Ukraine-Russia negotiations, saying, “We can say that there is a dialogue, but it continues to be very complicated. The two leaders need to meet.”

Regarding Ukraine’s position in any talks, he identified three main issues: “An end to the war, the withdrawal of Russian forces, and creating security for Ukraine. We must build this from zero with all the players.”

Moreover, Zelensky has red lines he will not cross, Yermak said.

“The man or nation hasn’t been born who will succeed in pressuring Zelensky into giving up the important things in life,” he said.

He added that Ukraine very much wants defense assistance from Israel, including the Iron Dome missile interceptor.

“It is very important to be clear that this is a war, that this is aggression and an invasion — and who the aggressor is here,” he said.

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