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Netanyahu Says Considering Military Aid to Ukraine

Netanyahu Says Considering Military Aid to Ukraine

Wednesday, 1 February, 2023 - 08:00
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Reuters

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday he would be willing to consider serving as a mediator between Russia and Ukraine if asked by both warring countries and the United States.

Netanyahu also said he was considering military aid to Ukraine.

"If asked by all relevant parties, I'll certainly consider it, but I’m not pushing myself in," Netanyahu told CNN in an interview about mediation. He added it would have to be the "right time and the right circumstances."

Israel's close ally the United States would also need to ask because "you can't have too many cooks in the kitchen," he said.

Netanyahu said he was asked to be a mediator shortly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February of last year but he declined because he was Israel’s opposition leader at the time, not the prime minister. "I have a rule: one prime minister at a time," he said.

Netanyahu would not say who asked him to serve in the role but he said the request was "unofficial."

Ukraine asked Netanyahu’s predecessor, Naftali Bennett, to act as a mediator and Bennett met in March with Russian President Vladimir Putin and also spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy but he was unable to broker a peace deal.

Netanyahu was asked in the interview with CNN if Israel could provide assistance to Ukraine such as Iron Dome, the US-backed technology that defends Israel from air attack. "Well, I'm certainly looking into it," he said.

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