Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the formation of the new Israeli government on Thursday, the first foreign leader to do so since the government was sworn in.
“Russia highly appreciates your personal long-term contribution to the strengthening of friendly relations between our countries," said Putin. "I hope that the new government under your leadership will continue the line of developing constructive Russian-Israeli cooperation in all areas for the benefit of our peoples, in the interests of ensuring peace and security in the Middle East region.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also congratulated Netanyahu, tweeting "I wish success on the way to the welfare and security of Israel. I confirm Ukraine's readiness for close cooperation to strengthen our ties & confront common challenges, achieve prosperity and victory over evil."
Congratulations to PM @netanyahu on the formation of the new Government. I wish success on the way to the welfare & security of Israel. I confirm 's readiness for close cooperation to strengthen our ties & confront common challenges, achieve prosperity & victory over evil.— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) December 29, 2022
Israel's position on the Russia-Ukraine war
Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Israel under former Prime Minister Yair Lapid has been careful in maintaining a relatively neutral stance on the conflict. Although it has provided medical and other types of humanitarian aid to Ukraine and has condemned some Russian actions, it has stopped short of providing military aid.
The Jerusalem Post reported in September that Israel had denied a request by the United States to cosponsor a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine “in the strongest terms.”
The report noted that on the other hand, Israel condemned referenda that had been held by Russia in occupied territory that were widely recognized as fraudulent.
Zelensky became frustrated by what he saw as a lack of support from Israel, the Post reported in September.
"I don’t understand why they can’t supply us with anti-aircraft missiles, Israel has provided us with nothing. Nothing. Zero," he told French TV network TV5Monde.
After Israel began sharing intelligence with Ukraine in October, Zelensky changed his tune, saying that he was "satisfied with the past few days," the Post reported.
Herb Keinon, Jerusalem Post Staff and Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.