Ukrainian official: Israel’s PM told Zelensky he should take Putin’s proposal to end war
Kyiv – An Ukrainian official said Israeli occupation Prime Minister told Ukrainian President on Tuesday that he should take Russian President’s proposal for ending the war.
Naftali Bennett has emerged as a key mediator between Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelensky in the past two weeks.
However, the senior Ukrainian official told Axios that Bennett must present proposals.
He added Bennett must do more than act as a “mailbox” between the two sides.
The senior Ukrainian official said Bennett initiated the call on Tuesday and suggested Zelensky take the offer.
Zelensky and his advisers didn’t like Bennett’s recommendation, according to the Ukrainian official.
“Bennett is basically telling us to surrender and we have no intention of doing that,” the Ukrainian official said.
However, a senior official in Bennet’s Office said that the details of the call which the Ukrainian official described were not true.
“We doubt that the official is a senior person that is in Ukraine now and who was on the call.”
“Because it was conducted on a private line,” the Israeli official said.
“Our contacts are directly with President Zelensky and his close advisers.”
The Israeli official added Bennett didn’t recommend that Zelensky take Putin’s offer because ‘Israel’ hasn’t received such an offer.
“The prime minister doesn’t intend to give Zelensky any recommendations or advice at any stage,” the official said.
The Israeli official stressed the call between Zelensky and Bennett was good and long.
The call included a discussion about the possibility of holding a mediation meeting in occupied Jerusalem, the official added.
“The prime minister’s efforts are focused on one thing — stopping the bloodshed in Ukraine,” the official said.
The Israeli occupation government has claimed that it needs to maintain a careful and balanced approach to the war in Ukraine.
‘Israel’ also asked Ukraine to stop requesting military assistance or political backing, the Ukrainian official said.
This because it will harm the mediation efforts that demand neutrality, the official added.
He said Zelensky and his aides didn’t get the impression that Bennett’s mediation efforts are bearing any fruit.
Kyiv thinks Bennett has not been acting as a mediator, the Ukrainian official said.
He added that a mediator needs to push for compromises, put proposals on the table and not simply pass messages.
“We don’t need another mailbox, we have enough of those,” he said.
Bennett’s efforts are largely motivated by his goal of not taking a clear position on the Russian war, according to the Ukrainian official.
This is in order to maintain good relations with Russia, he noted.
“His initiative looks like an excuse for why he is not speaking out against Russia.”
“.. Not providing weapons to Ukraine and not sanctioning Russia.”
France and Germany are also passing messages and don’t claim they have to stay neutral, the official noted.