Rumors that Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett urged Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky to capitulate to Russian demands during recent negotiations, were debunked this weekend by both sides.
The reports by Hebrew-language Walla! News, and English-language news outlets including The Jerusalem Post and Axios were denied on Saturday by a top Ukrainian official and his Israeli counterpart.
PM of ?? @naftalibennett, just as other conditional intermediary countries, does NOT offer Ukraine to agree to any demands of the Russian Federation. This is impossible for military & political reasons. On the contrary, Israel urges Russia to assess the events more adequately.
— Михайло Подоляк (@Podolyak_M) March 12, 2022
Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said in a tweet that Bennett, “just as other conditional intermediary countries, does NOT offer Ukraine to agree to any demands of the Russian Federation. This is impossible for military & political reasons.
“On the contrary,” he added, “Israel urges Russia to assess the events more adequately.”
Bennett likewise denied the report, according to Reuters, The Kyiv Independent and the British Globe and Mail.
“This report isn’t just inaccurate but patently false,” the Prime Minister’s Office said. “At no point did PM Bennett advise President Zelensky to take a deal from Putin.”
Bennett met with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in a three-hour meeting last Saturday at the Kremlin. He has since spoken twice with Putin by phone and four times with Zelensky, officials said.
Bennett spoke with the Ukrainian president again on Saturday night, his office said. “The conversation, which lasted for over an hour, dealt with ways to stop the fighting in Ukraine and the efforts that Israel is making on the matter,” the PMO told reporters.