Bennett talks to Putin, Zelensky as Russia-Ukraine mediation efforts continue

Bennett and Putin spoke for an hour and a half about a possible ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine.

 Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Russia President Vladimir Putin meeting, October 22, 2021.  (photo credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Russia President Vladimir Putin meeting, October 22, 2021.
(photo credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky separately on Monday, as part of his efforts to mediate an end to the war in Ukraine.

The leaders spoke for an hour and a half about a possible ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine, a diplomatic source in Jerusalem said.

They also discussed Israel’s humanitarian aid to the region, the source added. Bennett mentioned that Israel approved the budget to establish a field hospital in Ukraine, Kan reported.

The Kremlin readout said that Putin shared his views about the negotiations and that the leaders agreed to continue the dialogue. 

Bennett and Zelensky spoke soon after the call with Putin. The Ukrainian leader tweeted about the call, along with conversations with the leaders of Poland and Luxembourg, and said "we exchanged information on our joint steps and steps of our partners against the background of Russian aggression. Agreed on further actions."

 Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky  (credit: NIR ELIAS/REUTERS, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE/REUTERS) Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (credit: NIR ELIAS/REUTERS, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE/REUTERS)

Zelensky's Chief of Staff Andriy Yermak praised Israel's efforts to mediate between his country and Russia.

“Israel has taken on a complex but noble mission of an intermediary seeking peace and the end of Russian aggression against Ukraine,” Yermak wrote on Facebook on Monday.

Zelensky asked Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to serve as an intermediary between Ukraine and Russia and has suggested that Jerusalem host a peace summit, including publicly on Saturday.

Bennett has spoken with Zelensky and Putin, separately, several times since the war broke out, and he traveled to Moscow and Berlin to help in the mediation efforts.

In addition, Yermak said Ukraine has “an intensive dialogue with Israel regarding its participation in the humanitarian [aid].”

Yermak said he is in constant contact with National Security Adviser Eyal Hulata, and Israel’s broader refugee policy is a result of those talks.

“I thank my colleagues and I hope for the success of our joint diplomatic efforts,” Yermak wrote.