Israeli-Ukrainian relations worsened due to the UN vote, the acceptance of refugees | Tech US News


A young boy waves the Ukrainian flag in the city of Kherson after the departure of the occupying Russian troops. Photo: Reuters/Valentyn Ogirenko

Diplomatic ties between Israel and Ukraine were increasingly strained on Tuesday as both countries accused the other of a lack of political solidarity.

Days after Israeli and many Ukrainian officials reacted with dismay to Ukraine’s UN mission’s vote last Friday in favor of an anti-Israel resolution, Ukraine criticized Israel for abstaining from a separate UN vote holding Russia legally responsible for damage caused to Ukraine since its troops invaded on Feb. 24.

Several Ukrainian media outlets pointed out that other countries with historically close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime, including Hungary and Turkey, had voted against Israel for the resolution criticizing Russia.

Ukraine is also angry with the Israeli government for imposing new restrictions on Ukrainian refugees entering Israel. On Tuesday, Ukraine’s envoy to Tel Aviv, Yevhen Korniychuk, told Israeli media that he had requested a meeting with Israel’s foreign ministry for 10 days to discuss the problem. Asked if the ministry had asked him to issue a formal warning over last Friday’s UN vote, Korniychuk vehemently denied it. In response to Israel’s claim that he was actually called, Korniychuk responded that “they can say whatever they want.”

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Separately, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov held talks with his Israeli counterpart Benny Gantz on Tuesday. Although they did not reveal the content of their conversation, Reznikov later tweeted that they had a “fruitful conversation”.

“We discussed the priority issues of bilateral cooperation in the defense field and the advantages of democracy,” Reznikov wrote.

The diplomatic spat between Jerusalem and Kiev comes amid repeated efforts by Ukrainians to persuade Israel to reverse its policy of not arming Ukrainian forces. Several Ukrainian political figures expressed concern that last Friday’s vote would make it less likely that Israel would change its mind.

“The position of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry was illogical and unacceptable,” said the personal assistant of the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Alexei Arestovich, about the vote. “We are aligning ourselves with Russia and Iran, who are attacking us, and distancing ourselves from Israel – who we want as an ally.”

A statement from Israel’s foreign ministry said Ukraine’s vote “does not reflect relations between friendly countries with shared values, especially in light of Israel’s support for Ukraine in various important UN decisions and large-scale humanitarian aid”.

Meanwhile, Russian forces stepped up their offensive on Tuesday, raining missiles on Kyiv and other cities, while NATO and US officials followed reports that two missiles had landed in NATO member Poland. Two Polish citizens were reportedly killed in the attacks. Condemning the “Russian missile attack on collective security,” Zelensky said there had been “a very big escalation. We have to act.”


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