Environmental Protection Minister Ze’ev Elkin claimed to The Jerusalem Post on Monday that US Vice President Joe Biden intervened ahead of Friday's vote on UN Resolution 2334 in order to persuade Ukraine to vote in favor of the resolution.
In response, the vice president's office intensely denied Elkin's comments as utterly false.
The resolution is the first in Security Council history specifically condemning Israel for its settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer was asked repeatedly on CNN and MSNBC Monday what evidence Israel has Obama administration pushed for the resolution's passage. Dermer responded that he would provide an answer only to the next administration of President-elect Donald Trump.
Elkin said openly that Biden spoke to the Ukrainians, and that they would have abstained had he not intervened. A source said Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's office confirmed that Biden called but would not confirm or deny that the conversation had to do with Israel.
The vice president's office was willing to describe contents of the call, however: It focused on Poroshenko's efforts to strengthen the nation's banking sector, according to a readout released publicly on December 19.
"The Vice President called Ukrainian President Poroshenko last week to discuss PrivatBank and other issues specific to Ukraine," said Kate Bedingfield, Biden's communications director. "He did not discuss the UN Security Council resolution."
Put plainly, she added: "The Vice President did not lobby in favor of the settlements UNSCR."Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.
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