The Israeli Embassy in Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, has now reopened after evacuating to western Ukraine on February 21, shortly before Russia’s invasion of the country.
Just five days after moving to Lviv, the embassy was forced to relocate to Poland, where it continued to help Israelis fleeing Ukraine cross the border.
The embassy reopened on Thursday, 23 June, and has so-far processed around 80 urgent cases, The Times of Israel reports.
While in Kyiv this week, Michael Brodsky, the Israeli ambassador to Ukraine, met with Ukrainian officials and members of the Ukrainian Jewish community to discuss humanitarian aid and consular services, promising to return to Ukraine in two weeks time to ensure that the embassy will be fully operational.
“Israeli diplomatic presence in Kyiv is very important to us and is another sign of Israel’s support for Ukraine,” Brodsky said on June 23.
Yet, on the same day, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke via video call to students at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and underlined the close historical and cultural ties between the two nations. He lamented what he perceived to be a lack of military and diplomatic aid from Israel.
Since Russia’s invasion, Israel has demonstrated a desire to preserve its ties with Moscow, and has until recently refused to send defensive equipment to Ukraine, instead sending humanitarian aid and setting up a field hospital in western Ukraine for just six weeks.
“Unfortunately, for most items of assistance we would want to get from Israel, we can’t say we’ve gotten any of that assistance,” Zelensky said.
“Please remember how close we are linked, how our ties are, and what should be the level of understanding between us,” he continued. “When governments introduce sanctions against Russia, this is not about business. This is about values and general security. This is about everyone who is willing to destroy another nation [having] to be held accountable. Unfortunately, we have not seen yet Israel join the sanctions regime.”
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