Israeli ambassador to remain in Kyiv, help Israelis return - Foreign Ministry

“Every effort must be made for Israelis to understand that late rescue can be complicated and dangerous,” Yair Lapid tweeted.

Michael Brodsky was nominated to be Israel's ambassador in Kyiv, in 2020. (photo credit: COURTESY)
Michael Brodsky was nominated to be Israel's ambassador in Kyiv, in 2020.
(photo credit: COURTESY)

Israel on Saturday night renewed its call on Israeli citizens in Ukraine to leave the country immediately.

"The outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine may be swift and harsh," the Foreign Ministry stated.

To help Israelis leave, Ambassador Michael Brodsky and his staff at the country's embassy in Kyiv will open the consular office on Sunday from 10-2 p.m. to help those who need travel documents.

The Ministry said it was "following developments as well as decisions by the United States and the United Kingdom to evacuate their embassies in Kyiv and to move them to Lviv."

It added that it was working to safeguard the lives of Israel's emissaries in Ukraine while providing a solution to some 10,000 Israeli citizens.

 Israelis are seen at Ben-Gurion Airport having returned from Ukraine amid fears of a possible Russian invasion, on February 13, 2022. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI) Israelis are seen at Ben-Gurion Airport having returned from Ukraine amid fears of a possible Russian invasion, on February 13, 2022. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI)

On Friday Foreign Minister Yair Lapid asked his Moldovan counterpart, Nicu Popescu, if his country could provide an emergency land route out of Ukraine for Jews and Israelis.

There are some 200,000 Jews living in Ukraine.

“Every effort must be made for Israelis to understand that late rescue can be complicated and dangerous,” Lapid tweeted. “There is no need to take unnecessary risks.”

Earlier in the morning, he held a meeting in the Foreign Ministry to assess the situation and review intelligence reports.

Last week Ushpiz contacted Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mikhail Bogdanov on Wednesday to express concern for Israeli citizens and diplomats in Ukraine.

Following media reports on the call that said Jerusalem asked Moscow for help evacuating Israelis – which the Foreign Ministry denied – Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry summoned Israeli Ambassador in Kyiv Michael Brodsky for clarification.

Brodsky said in the meeting that the call had two goals: to send a message of de-escalation and to express concern for the security of Israeli diplomats and emissaries.

Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.