Ukrainian ambassador to Israel attacks 'deeply disappointing' Benny Gantz

The defense minister's office abruptly cancels call with Ukrainian counterpart • Iran is Israel and Ukraine's "mutual enemy," Yevgen Kornichuk stresses

 Ukraine’s Ambassador to Israel Yevgen Korniychuk. (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)
Ukraine’s Ambassador to Israel Yevgen Korniychuk.
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)

Ukrainian Ambassador to Israel Yevgen Kornichuk lashed out on Tuesday at "deeply disappointing" Defense Minister Benny Gantz, after Gantz's office abruptly and inexplicably canceled a scheduled call with his Ukrainian counterpart.

In an interview with Maariv, Kornichuk said he was "deeply disappointed" by the Israelis when Ukraine was told the call between Gantz and Oleksii Reznikov, which was scheduled back in August, would not go through.

"They did not provide an explanation for the cancelation," Kornichuk said. "Going forward, I don't think our defense minister will be in contact with Gantz."

"They did not provide an explanation for the cancelation. Going forward, I don't think our defense minister will be in contact with Gantz."

Ukrainian Ambassador to Israel Yevgen Kornichuk

The Ukrainian ambassador previously hit out at another Israeli minister, Avigdor Liberman, when he accused the finance minister of "neutrality" on the Ukraine-Russia War back in September.

 Minister of Defense Benny Gantz at a state Memorial ceremony for the fallen soldiers of the Yom Kippur War at the military cemetery memorial hall on Mount Herzl, October 06, 2022. (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90) Minister of Defense Benny Gantz at a state Memorial ceremony for the fallen soldiers of the Yom Kippur War at the military cemetery memorial hall on Mount Herzl, October 06, 2022. (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

Weapons to be discussed in Lapid-Kuleba call

Ukraine has recently upped the pressure on Israel to supply it with its advanced air defense systems to help protect the Ukrainians from Russian assaults. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba announced that his country will send an official request to Israel asking for the systems.

Kuleba, who is set to speak with Prime Minister Yair Lapid on Thursday, was "surprised" when Lapid's office approved the call, "now that he is prime minister and two weeks away from the election," the Ukrainian ambassador added. Kornichuk noted that Lapid was still the foreign minister when he and Kuleba last spoke.

"[Israel and Ukraine] do not have a 'quiet understanding' nor are there talks going on behind the scenes regarding our request for weapons," the Ukrainian ambassador said on his country's hopes of receiving Israeli-made weaponry.

"Ukraine has been trying to convince Israel to give us weaponry for eight months now – at least for defense means, if not for offense," ," Kornichuk lamented.

"It is very important to us and we have been unsuccessful...the main topic [of Kuleba and Lapid's conversation], as far as we are concerned, will be weapon supply."

Ukraine, Israel have a 'mutual enemy' in Iran

Kornichuk expressed his hope for Israel's government to change its mind, because Iran had become a "mutual enemy" of Ukraine and Israel, due to its involvement in the Russian invasion in the form of drones sold to the Russian military.

Ukraine also announced this week that it will end its diplomatic ties with the Islamic Republic. "It'll take time, but we are serious in our intentions to cease ties with Iran," Kornichuk stressed.