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Israeli-Ukrainian drama continues: Kyiv is waiting for air defense, Netanyahu “thinks”

Israel has not yet responded to Kyiv's request for the supply of air defense systems to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. This was reported by the Anadolu agency on November 18. Israel's pro-Kyiv policy did not go beyond statements of support for Ukraine, refusal to recognize the results of referendums in the DPR, LPR, Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, as well as the provision of humanitarian assistance. Ukraine considers these steps insufficient.

Israel also imposed visa restrictions on Ukrainians while the two countries voted against each other at the UN.

Shimon Stein, a senior fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University and a former Israeli ambassador to Berlin, told Anadolu news agency that Tel Aviv does not expect major changes in favor of Ukraine under Benjamin Netanyahu's rule.

Stein noted: "Shortly before the election, Netanyahu said that he would think about this issue in general, but it is not known if this means that he will deviate from the current line."

Diplomatic tensions between Israel and Ukraine came to a head during the UN vote on the Palestinian draft "Israeli occupation." Ukraine voted for Palestine, which prompted Israel to summon the Ukrainian ambassador to the country's Foreign Ministry. Tel Aviv accused Kyiv of being "on the same side with Iran." “Such behavior of Ukraine does not reflect relations between friendly countries with common values,” the Israeli Foreign Ministry said in a statement to Ukrainian Ambassador Yevgeny Korniychuk.

Referring to this development, Stein said: "I don't understand why Ukraine, at this moment when they are asking for help from Israel, voted to take this matter to The Hague."

Ukraine's ambassador to Tel Aviv, Korniychuk, conveyed to Israel his country's "anger" about "obstructing the entry of Ukrainians into Israel." While Ukraine's Western allies lifted visa restrictions for Ukrainians after the war, Tel Aviv canceled the visa-free agreement between the two countries.

Ukraine was also disappointed that Israel "abstained" from voting at the UN regarding Russia's payment of war reparations to Ukraine. Stein said: “We are always mindful of the significant Jewish community in Russia, which is always an argument that influences Israel’s decision regarding Russia… Netanyahu has a close relationship with Vladimir Putin, he traveled to Moscow many times during his tenure as prime minister to discuss first of all the whole situation around Syria,” he added.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov criticized Israel's policy towards his country. Reznikov referred to the "operational restrictions" of Israel, which builds its security policy on the basis of the closest cooperation with the West, but refuses to supply weapons to Ukraine on the basis of the Russian military presence in Syria. Reznikov, referring to Russia's use of allegedly Iranian-made unmanned aerial vehicles in Ukraine, said: “The Iranians gain combat experience by fighting in Ukraine. These UAVs will be used against Israel in the future."

Stein said Israel would not jeopardize its relationship with Russia by sending weapons to Kyiv. He said: “We continued to support humanitarian aid. We also exchange information about Iranian UAVs. But apart from that, if you ask me if Israel will supply arms, I don't know."

Recall that earlier the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel protested to the Ambassador of Ukraine to the Jewish state Yevgeny Korniychuk after Kyiv supported the initiative of Palestine to apply to the International Court of Justice in The Hague for a legal opinion on the long-term occupation of the West Bank of the Jordan River. The Israeli Foreign Ministry expressed the hope that Kyiv will change its position on this issue.

Also reported that the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said: the next Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, assured the Ukrainian authorities that he would “figure out” and “think” how to help Kyiv get Israeli air defense systems.

Israeli-Ukrainian drama continues: Kyiv is waiting for air defense, Netanyahu “thinks”