Russia’s Ambassador to Israel Anatoly Viktorov has conveyed in recent closed meetings that Russia is disgruntled with Yair Lapid’s entry into the office of prime minister, Channel 12 News reported on Wednesday.
The ambassador also said that Lapid’s role could “create problems” between Moscow and Jerusalem.
Moscow’s stance is due to Lapid’s sharp condemnations of the war in Ukraine and his categorization of Russia’s actions as “war crimes.”
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Lapid, then serving as foreign minister, had taken a sharp stance against the war, with then-prime minister Naftali Bennett taking a more diplomatic approach. Lapid was the first Israeli official to accuse Russia of deliberately harming civilians and use of the term “war crime.”
In response to the report, Israeli officials told Channel 12 that relations with Russia are continuing as normal “in the necessary channels,” that is, military and security coordination.
The Russian embassy responded: “We have noticed some comments and statements from Israeli officials regarding the special Russian military operation in Ukraine. We hope that Israel will choose a more impartial, balanced and considered approach on this issue. In our opinion, this will be in line with the friendly and deep Russian-Israeli relationship that we have been building together for over 30 years. ”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)