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Ukraine calls on Israel to condemn Russia invasion

February 6, 2023 at 12:09 pm

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen in Jerusalem[Israel Foreign Ministry/Anadolu Agency]

Ukraine has demanded the Israeli government issue a clear statement condemning the Russian invasion and supporting the” territorial integrity of Ukraine”. It also called on Tel Aviv to approve a loan of $0.5 billion in preparation for the planned visit of Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen to Kyiv.

According to Israel’s Walla website, Kyiv demanded Tel Aviv “take a series of measures” as part of preparations for Cohen’s visit. Sources said Kyiv also wants Cohen to make direct statements about Israel’s support for the territorial integrity of Ukraine and condemning Russia.

Ukraine also wants Israel to receive hundreds of its soldiers and civilians who were injured in the war, and to allow them to be treated in Israeli hospitals.

According to a Ukrainian official, the extent to which Israel responds to Ukraine’s requests during Cohen’s visit will be an indicator of “the sincerity of Israel’s intentions”. Cohen did not specify the date of his planned visit to Kyiv, and indicated that it would take place “in the near future,” making him the first Israeli minister to visit the Ukrainian capital since the Russian invasion in February 2022.

During his visit to Kiev, Cohen is expected to meet with his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuliba, and reopen the Israeli embassy in Kiev, which has been closed since the beginning of the war. According to Israeli reports, Cohen submitted a request to meet with Ukrainian President Zelensky. A senior Ukrainian official noted that at this stage Cohen’s request to meet Zelensky had not been approved.

The Ukrainian official stressed that “the holding of the meeting is contingent on Israel’s readiness to take steps in favour of Ukraine.” “The president will not meet with Cohen to take a picture,” he added.

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