Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenksy that he recommends Ukraine take the offer made by Russian President Vladimir Putin to end the war – which includes many Ukrainian sacrifices – in a phone call on Tuesday, according to an official in Ukraine’s government.
According to the official, Zelenksy did not take Bennett’s advice, the Jerusalem Post is reporting.
The source claimed that the phone call was initiated by Bennett. “If I were you, I would think about the lives of my people and take the offer,” Bennett reportedly said.
Zelenksy’s response was short. “I hear you,” he said.
According to the report, Zelenksy and his people did not like the advice. “Bennett told us to surrender,” said the official. “We have no intention of doing so. We know Putin’s offer is only the beginning.”
In the past two weeks, and especially since Bennett’s visit to Moscow, the prime minister’s office and the Foreign Ministry have been claiming that Israel’s mediation efforts force them to keep an even more cautious and balanced approach.
This message was also passed quietly to Zelenksy’s office. The official also said that Israel asked Ukraine not to request more military and defense aid because such a request could harm the mediation efforts.
According to the official, however, Zelenksy’s office isn’t seeing results from the mediation.
He said that Bennett isn’t mediating so much as he is functioning as a mailbox and just passing messages between the two sides. According to him, a mediator needs to try to put together a compromise between the two sides and make his own offers.
Ukrainian officials believe that Bennett’s involvement in diplomatic efforts comes from his not wanting to take a clear stance regarding the Russian invasion from fear that it will harm Israel’s ties with Russia.