Israel is involved in trying to defuse growing tensions between the US and Russia over the latter’s build-up of troops on the Ukrainian border, Army Radio reported on Wednesday morning.
According to the report, the Biden administration requested that Israel serve as a mediator in an attempt to thwart a major crisis between the two world powers.
The report added that Israel is avoiding any public statements about the tension between Russia and Ukraine, both of which have large Jewish populations, out of fear that public support for either side could lead to a surge in anti-Semitism.
Last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin rejected an offer from Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to mediate between him and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Prior to Bennett’s trip to meet Putin in Sochi, Russia in October 2021, Ukrainian senior officials requested that Bennett assist Kyiv in mediating with Moscow, even suggesting that a summit be held in Jerusalem.
The Ukrainian officials noted that “Israel has good relations with both Russia and Ukraine.”
Bennett did bring up the suggestion during his meeting with Putin but Putin not only turned him down but also expressed harsh criticism of Zelensky, Israeli officials later said.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)