Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday, Nov.7, called Benjamin Netanyahu to congratulate him on his victory in last week’s election that secured the former Israeli prime minister’s dramatic comeback.
In the “warm and personal conversation,” Netanyahu thanked Zelensky and “repeated what he said during the election campaign, that after assuming the position (of prime minister) he would give serious consideration to the Ukrainian issue,” a statement from Netanyahu’s office read.
Zelensky said he congratulated Netanyahu and “wished him a successful formation of the new government.”
“I expressed hope that the level of (Ukrainian-Israeli) interaction will correspond to the security challenges facing our countries,” Zelensky wrote on Twitter.
Ukraine has since late February been under assault from a Russian invasion.
The call between the two took place via encrypted messaging app Signal, according to Netanyahu’s office.
Israel has been reluctant to get involved in a US-led alliance helping pro-Western Ukraine to repel Russia’s invasion.
But the Jewish state has been increasingly concerned over the growing role of arch-foe Iran in the conflict, with Tehran accused of supplying fleets of deadly drones used by Russia against Ukrainian civilian targets.
Zelensky, who had criticised Israel over its neutrality in the war, had late October noted a “positive trend” in relations after the two countries began sharing intelligence about Russia’s use Iranian drones.
Israel has not been willing to provide Ukraine with its state-of-the-art aerial defence systems, walking a delicate diplomatic line in light of its need to maintain cooperation with Russia, which has an active military role in the Jewish state’s neighbour Syria.
Netanyahu, along with his far-right and ultra-Orthodox allies, secured a clear win in Tuesday’s election, setting him up to form what may be the most right-wing government in Israeli history with 64 members of the 120-seat parliament.
The centrist bloc of outgoing caretaker Prime Minister Yair Lapid won 51 seats, marking a definitive win for Netanyahu and an end to Israel’s unprecedented era of political deadlock, which forced five elections in less than four years.
You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter