Ukraine may suspend visa-free travel for Israelis
Ukraine’s ambassador to Israel, Evgeny Korniychuk, has criticized the country for refusing to grant visa-free entry to Ukrainian citizens, saying Kiev is currently contemplating whether to retaliate reciprocally.
“We are now considering whether to suspend the visa-free regime for Israelis,” Korniychuk said in a recent interview, and confirmed to Israeli media on Saturday. “Right now it will be intangible, but by Rosh Hashanah [Jewish New Year], the Israeli government will feel it.”
“We insist that there be complete reciprocity. If Ukrainians are required to have an electronic visa – Israelis will also be required to have such a visa,” he told Yedioth Ahronoth.
Korniychuk also said that amid the ongoing conflict with Russia, Kiev expects all possible help from its partners, but Israel seems to be sitting on the fence and “waiting to see which side starts winning.”
The Israeli Interior Ministry announced in March that Ukrainians visiting Israel would have to fill out a special form before entering the country, while also setting a cap on non-Jewish refugees. Kiev called the move “an unfriendly step.”
This is not the first time the Ukrainian diplomat has criticized the policies and perceived lack of support from Israel. Earlier this month, Korniychuk urged the Israeli government “to move away from its comfort zone and get back to reality,” demanding more “military-technical support” and weapons, including Spike anti-tank guided missiles and Iron Dome missile defense systems.
Since Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine in late February, Israel has provided humanitarian assistance and non-lethal aid to Kiev, but has refrained from sending arms, breaking with a long list of US allies supplying light and heavy weapons.