Ukraine has expressed its disappointment in signals that the new Israeli government may establish closer ties with Russia.
(Al Jazeera) – Israel’s new government, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has primarily made headlines domestically, and for its policies towards Palestinians, since coming into power late last year.
But on foreign policy, particularly regarding Russia’s war in Ukraine, some argue that Israel’s most right-wing government yet is inclined to deviate from its predecessor’s path.
Take the new foreign minister’s first public speech, on January 2.
Among other things, Eli Cohen said the new government would “talk less” when it came to Russia and Ukraine, implying that the administration would avoid taking public positions on the conflict.
Cohen also spoke to his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov before speaking to Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba, a decision that upset the Ukrainians, with the ambassador to Israel saying that the phone call was evidence Israel was changing course under Netanyahu.
“The difference between the two governments is that the previous government was 100 percent ideologically sympathetic to Ukraine and sought to support Ukraine as much as it could, without totally alienating the Russians,” Jonathan Rynhold, head of political studies at Bar-Ilan University, told Al Jazeera.