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Israel to summon Ukrainian envoy after Kyiv accuses Jerusalem of pro-Russian policy

Ukraine's ambassador to Israel, Yevgen Korniychuk gives a statement to the media in Tel Aviv, March 11, 2022. (Photo: Avshalom Sassoni‎‏/Flash90)

The Israeli Foreign Ministry reportedly intends to reprimand Ukrainian Ambassador to Israel Yevgen Korniychuk after the Ukrainian embassy accused the Jewish state of siding with Russia in the ongoing war in Ukraine. 

Following instructions from Kyiv, the Ukrainian embassy in Tel Aviv blasted Israel’s Ukraine war policy, saying it is leading to a “path of close cooperation” with Russia. 

The Western nations have overwhelmingly sided with Ukraine against Russia. While Israel has provided civilian aid to the Ukrainians, Jerusalem has avoided openly siding against Russia due to concerns that it could undermine Israel’s military freedom of action against Iranian agents in Russian-controlled Syrian airspace. However, Israel's Ukrainian embassy blasted “the so-called ‘neutrality’ of Israel[‘s] government,” which it considers to be “a clear pro-Russian position.”

Avoiding a potential meltdown of diplomatic ties with Moscow is not the only reason Israel has been reluctant to provide military assistance to Ukraine.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently expressed “concerns that any systems that we give to Ukraine would be used against us because they could fall into Iranian hands and be used against us. And by the way, that’s not a theoretical possibility. It actually happened with the Western anti-tank weapons that we now find at our borders. So we have to be very careful here.”

The Ukrainian government has repeatedly expressed its frustration with Jerusalem’s unwillingness to clearly side with Kyiv against Russia. However, in recent weeks, Ukrainian-Israeli ties appear to be improving.

Last week, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov spoke about the need to confront Iran as a shared threat for both Ukraine and Israel. The Iranian regime continues to openly call for Israel’s destruction and has provided lethal drones to Russia, which are used against Ukrainian cities. 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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