Ukraine Looks to Jerusalem to End War With Russia

Zelensky officially tables idea of holding ceasefire talks in Israel, “a country with a rich history”

By Israel Today Staff | | Topics: Ukraine, Russia
Photo: Tomer Neuberg/Flash90

Israel Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky chatted on the phone for over an hour during the weekend. The two have spoken many times since Russia invaded Ukraine over two weeks ago, as Israel continues to play a leading role in mediating a ceasefire.

Shortly after speaking with Bennett, Zelensky briefed the local and international press in Kiev, and confirmed that he had requested that ceasefire negotiations take place in Jerusalem.

Russia, Ukraine or Belarus “are not places where we can come to any understandings on ending the war,” said Zelensky, referencing lower-level talks currently taking place on the border of Ukraine and Belarus. “I’m not talking about technical meetings but meetings between leaders. I believe Israel can be such a place, especially Jerusalem. I think so, and I said this to Bennett.”

As for Bennett himself, while Zelensky hasn’t been pleased by Israel’s failure to provide Ukraine with direct military aid, he did praise the Israeli leader as one of the few international players who could possibly bring this war to an end.

“We generally support mediation by anyone,” he said. “But I wouldn’t call Prime Minister Bennett ‘anyone.’ He can play an important role because Israel is a country with a rich history.”

Israel’s Channel 12 News cited sources in the Kremlin as saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin is open to holding talks in Jerusalem, but believes it yet premature to discuss doing so.

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