Israel strongly expressed its solidarity with Ukraine this past week. Eli Cohen, the foreign minister, traveled to Kyiv to show his support for Ukraine following its invasion by Russia a year ago. He provided up to $200 million in loan guarantees for humanitarian purposes and reaffirmed Israel’s commitment to the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity during his visit.
Before going to the reopening ceremony of the Israeli embassy in Kyiv, Cohen had meetings with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his deputy Dmytro Kuleba of Ukraine. He also visited Babyn Yar, the site of the Nazis’ Holocaust slaughter of 34000 Jews. After seeing this historic place, he issued a statement denouncing any intentional harm done to innocent people. He backed Zelenskyy’s peace proposal, which will be presented to the UN next week.
With these declarations of support, Cohen disregarded Russia’s advice against directly arming Ukraine because it could jeopardize the security of the Jewish state. This refusal is extremely significant due to the recent spike in tensions between Russia and Israel brought on by Moscow’s support of Iranian-backed militias fighting in Syria. Also, there have been worries about Russian military activity near the borders of Armenia and Azerbaijan and a more recent buildup near the Ukrainian border, which has led to increased tension between the two nations.
Cohen’s visit demonstrated that despite recent Russian measures, Israel maintains its commitment to Ukraine and its desire for regional peace. This commitment is reflected in his offer of loan guarantees, which shows that Israel is not only willing to deliver aid but is also eager to invest in Ukraine’s future growth and stability despite the current situation. Cohen’s decision to disregard Moscow’s advice to refrain from arming Ukraine also conveys another potent message: Israel will continue to support its partners in the face of pressure from more potent foreign entities like Russia or other nations in the area.
Ultimately, Cohen’s visit is a monument to the two nations’ strong partnership and Israel’s commitment to regional and global security. His efforts during this diplomatic visit make it clear that Israel will not submit to pressure from other foreign countries but will instead continue cooperating with Ukraine to create a better future for all residents of their boundaries.