< /p> Minister of Foreign Affairs of Israel Eli Cohen (Eli Cohen) and Foreign Minister of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba in Kyiv on February 16, 2023.
Kyiv – Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen arrived in Kyiv today , where he expressed his country's support for Ukraine. This is the first trip of a high-ranking representative of Israel to Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion almost a year ago, the AP agency reported. The visit comes as Western countries seek to increase military aid to the embattled country. So far, Israel has only provided humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
Since last February 24, when Russia attacked its neighbor, Israel has been on the edge between helping Ukraine and avoiding friction with Russia, with which it has strategic regional interests. Unlike Western countries, Israel has not imposed sanctions on Russia or Russian officials, does not share intelligence with Ukraine or supply it with weapons. But he provided her with humanitarian support, including a field hospital.
“I came to say: Israel stands by Ukraine and the Ukrainian people in their difficult period,” Kohen said after arriving at the Kyiv railway station. alarm, thanked for the assistance provided by Israel in the last year. “We focused on ways to strengthen bilateral relations, increase aid and solve common security challenges,” wrote the head of Ukrainian diplomacy.
Kohen also visited the town of Buča, which was the scene of massacres of the civilian population at the beginning of the Russian invasion. “It is impossible to remain indifferent in the face of the cruel scenes and horror stories that I have heard and been exposed to here,” Cohen was quoted as saying by The Jerusalem Post. He also bowed at the memorial in Babi Yar, where the Nazis murdered over 30,000 Ukrainian Jews during World War II. The Israeli minister also has a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
According to the AP, it is unclear whether Cohen plans to announce an increase in aid to Ukraine during the visit or whether the visit signifies Israel's future greater involvement in the conflict.
Cohen, who took office late last year, previously said that the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will “talk less publicly” about Russia's invasion of Ukraine, but will continue to provide humanitarian aid to Ukraine. Shortly after taking office, he spoke with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Israel is home to a large number of Russian and Ukrainian immigrants, and the Jewish state tries to maintain good relations with both warring states. Israel also relies on security cooperation with Russia over neighboring Syria, where the Israeli air force has carried out hundreds of strikes against Iranian military positions over the past decade.
As Western countries increase aid to Ukraine, pressure is mounting on Israel, and by the United States to provide Ukraine with some of its advanced military equipment. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, after meeting with Netanyahu in Jerusalem last month, stated that it is important to provide humanitarian, economic and security assistance to Ukraine.