Israeli Prime Minister meets Putin in Moscow and talks to Zelensky on the phone

Jerusalem — Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Kremlin on Saturday and then spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on the phone, Bennett said. Mann said.

Bennett is coordinating its crisis efforts with the United States, France and Germany, according to Israeli officials.

After the meeting with Putin, Bennett went to Berlin for a meeting with German Prime Minister Olaf Scholz, his spokesman said.

According to the Elysee Palace, French President Emmanuel Macron was talking to Bennett before flying to Moscow to explain his conversation with Putin.

“They keep in touch to win a ceasefire, which is done in collaboration with German Prime Minister Olaf Scholz,” an Elysee official said.

Israeli officials said at a three-hour meeting in the Kremlin raised the issue of a large Jewish community involved in the war in Ukraine with Putin.

Bennett said on Sunday after returning from the meeting with Putin that Israel would continue to attempt mediation between Russia and Ukraine, even if it seems unlikely to succeed.

Ukraine called for Israel to act as an intermediary, citing good government relations with both Kyiv and Moscow. Bennett’s office said he had spoken to Zelensky three times over the weekend.

Bennett did not elaborate on the three-hour Kremlin meeting with Putin on Saturday in a television statement to the Cabinet, with “blessings and encouragement of all parties”, especially the United States. Said.

“Even if the chances aren’t great, we’ll continue to help whenever this is requested,” Bennett said. “The moment we have access to all aspects and abilities, even with a small opening, I consider it a moral obligation to make every attempt.”

According to the Kremlin, the two leaders spoke again on the phone on Sunday to discuss Bennett’s “recent contacts with leaders in many countries.”

The Israeli Ministry of Health announced this week that it will send a medical team to Ukraine to set up a field hospital to provide treatment for refugees.

Israel, a close ally of the United States, condemned Russia’s invasion, expressed solidarity with Kyiv, and sent humanitarian aid to Ukraine, but contacted Moscow in hopes of helping mitigate the crisis. Said to maintain.

Israel, home to a significant population of immigrants from the former Soviet Union, is in Moscow’s military support for neighboring Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, where Israel is regularly attacking the military targets of terrorist groups in Iran and Hezbollah. Also keep in mind. Communication with Moscow prevents Russian and Israeli troops from accidentally exchanging fire.

On Saturday Bennett and Putin also discussed ongoing talks between Iran and world powers, including Russia, on the resurgence of the 2015 nuclear deal.

Russia said on Saturday that western sanctions imposed on Russia over the invasion of Ukraine hindered Iran’s nuclear deal. Israel opposes the resurgence of transactions.

Bennett, a religious Jew, flew to Moscow in violation of the Sabbath law. His spokesman said that Judaism allows this when it aims to protect human life.

He was accompanied by his Ukrainian-born Minister of Housing, Zeev Elkin. Elkin had previously accompanied former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as an interpreter in a meeting with Putin.