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Israel Foreign Minister in Ukraine for first time since war began

February 16, 2023 at 3:30 pm

A protest in Tel Aviv against Russia’s attack on Ukraine on 12 March 2022 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli Foreign Minister, Eli Cohen is set to meet Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in Kyiv on Thursday, in the first such visit since the Russian invasion last year, the Foreign Ministry said.

While Israel has condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it has limited its assistance to Kyiv to humanitarian aid and protective gear, Reuters reports.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who returned to power in December, has spoken about reviewing Israeli policy on the Ukraine-Russia war but has stopped short of pledging any direct supply of arms to Kyiv.

The Israelis want to maintain a coordination hotline with Russia, set up in 2015, over their military strikes on suspected Iranian targets in Syria, where Moscow has a garrison. They are also mindful of the welfare of Russia’s big Jewish community.

Cohen was set to attend the re-opening of the Israeli embassy that has returned to full activity, the Ministry said.

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