by: Kate Norman
Friday, 20 January 2023 | Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen accepted an invitation from his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba, to visit Kyiv after the two had a phone conversation yesterday.
This will be the first visit of a top Israeli official to Ukraine since Russia invaded last February, officials from both countries told the Times of Israel.
The visit could take place around the end of February or early March, an unnamed Ukrainian official told i24NEWS. The timing would depend on when the Israeli embassy in Kyiv fully reopens, the official said.
Foreign Minister Cohen promised Kubela in their conversation yesterday that the Israeli embassy in Kyiv would permanently reopen within 60 days. Due to the conflict with Russia, the Israeli staff have mostly been working from Poland, with sporadic periods of reopening the Kyiv embassy for two-week periods.
Cohen also said in a statement on Twitter that he promised that Israel will continue providing Ukraine with humanitarian aid, focusing on restoring energy infrastructure, as Russian bombing has targeted crucial infrastructure, leaving many Ukrainians without electricity amid the bleak winter.
He also promised aid in the areas of water and medical equipment as well as continued training for professional emergency management and trauma care, according to the foreign ministry.
Cohen pointed out Israel’s delivery of generators last month to the besieged southern city of Khershon, i24NEWS reported, as well as the Israeli embassy in Kyiv’s organization of a “resilience point” to provide a safe, warm place for Kyiv residents without electricity and water.
The foreign minister pointed out that Russians are using weapons provided by Iran to kill innocent Ukrainian citizens and called on his Ukrainian counterpart to join other European countries in declaring Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization.
Israel has denied Kyiv’s request for weapons and defense technology in its ongoing fight to get Russian soldiers out of Ukraine. Though the Jewish state has been dispatching humanitarian aid to Ukraine since the start of the war, Jerusalem has stopped short of sending lethal weapons for fear of angering Moscow.
Israel has worked to maintain good relations with Russia in light of its strong presence in Syria and control over Syrian airspace. Should Russia close the Syrian skies to Israeli jets, the Israeli military would not be able to conduct strikes against terrorist groups in the region, such as Hezbollah.
Meanwhile, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine shows little signs of slowing down, as it has nearly turned into a proxy war between the Kremlin and Western powers in a throwback to the Cold War.
Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who serves as deputy chairman on the Kremlin’s security council, warned NATO yesterday in a Telegram post that if Russia loses the conventional war in Ukraine, a nuclear war could break out.
Posted on January 20, 2023
Source: (Bridges for Peace, January 20, 2023)
Photo Credit: Ofir Abe (אופיר אייבי)/commons.wikimedia.org
Photo License: Wikimedia
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