Incoming Israeli foreign minister signals Russian détente

3 January, 01:49 AM
At the same time, Eli Cohen promised to

At the same time, Eli Cohen promised to "continue humanitarian aid" (Photo:REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)

Under the newly-formed government of incoming Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel will seek to normalize diplomatic relations with Russia, and will be less outspoken about the war in Ukraine, The Times of Israel reported on Jan. 2, citing a recent speech by the country’s new Foreign Minister Eli Cohen.

“Regarding Ukraine, Cohen only says that this government will talk less (about it) and will continue providing humanitarian aid,” the report says.

Israeli journalist Barak Ravid, believes that in light of the upcoming meeting between Russia’s and Israel’s foreign minister, this could mean that the Netanyahu government will take a “more pro-Russian position.”

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“In his speech, Cohen hinted that – unlike his predecessor Yair Lapid – he will not condemn Russia publicly,” Ravid said in a Twitter post.

“On the issue of Russia and Ukraine we will do one thing for sure – speak less in public.” The new Israeli FM said he is going to draft a “responsible” new policy on the war in Ukraine and added that the ministry “will prepare a detailed presentation to the security cabinet on this issue.”

Radvid noted that Cohen's predecessor led a “hard line” policy against Moscow, publicly condemned the invasion of Ukraine, and even stated that Russian troops had committed war crimes.

“Since the invasion, Lapid didn’t speak to (Russian FM) Lavrov & after he assumed office as caretaker PM – didn’t speak with (Russian dictator Vladimir) Putin,” the journalist added.

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