Ukraine wants US to pressure Israel
The United States should persuade Israel to provide military assistance to Kiev, Ukrainian Ambassador to Tel Aviv Evgeny Korniychuk has said. In an interview with The Hill newspaper, published on Sunday, Korniychuk claimed that, as the US is “the only country that Israel is listening to,” Washington should also ensure that its close ally abides by Western sanctions on Russia.
Revealing that he meets with the US ambassador to Israel on a weekly basis, Korniychuk jokingly referred to Tom Nides as a “secret weapon” in his campaign to push Israel out of its neutral status.
“This is why we discuss the different measures of support, and again, we need to change this major trend that makes Israel’s position different from the rest of the democratic world, and have more military technical cooperation,” he said.
The Ukrainian ambassador admitted that there has been some “positive development” in relations with Israel, which recently offered his country a missile warning system. However, Ukraine is expecting “more from Israel, of course,” he said. He expressed hope that alleged military ‘collaboration’ between Russia and Iran in Ukraine – something that both countries have been denying – would make Israel change its stance on arms supplies.
Korniychuk’s remarks came less than a week after Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, citing “the operational limitations,” made it clear to his Ukrainian counterpart Alexey Reznikov that Israel “will not provide weapon systems to Ukraine.” However, Israel is prepared to continue supplying Kiev with humanitarian aid and life-saving defense equipment, Gantz said. Russia, meanwhile, has been consistently warning the West against “pumping up” Ukraine with weapons, explaining that it would only prolong the conflict and cause unnecessary casualties.
Korniychuk revealed that the second most important issue for him, after getting military assistance from Israel, is to ensure that Israel enforces anti-Russia restrictions. While Tel Aviv doesn’t have its own sanctions legislation, its government said the country “is doing everything it can” in order to be part of the international sanctions effort.
“The issue of sanctions is also important and the Americans are in a much better position to check whether the Israelis are following those sanctions or not,” Korniychuk said.
A Treasury Department spokesperson told The Hill that it works “closely” with its partners, including Israeli, “to cut off avenues” for Russia to evade sanctions.