In keeping with its policy of neutrality in the Ukraine crisis, Israel refused to let a Russian missile ship dock in Haifa’s naval base, lest it appear to be taking sides with Moscow, Haaretz reported on Wednesday.
The mid-April incident was justified by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman during a meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Tuesday as necessary in order to maintain good relations with Ukraine, Russia and the U.S.
The U.S. was already disappointed in Israel for not backing a United Nations condemnation of Russia’s involvement in Crimea that was put to the vote two and half months ago, an official explained.
In addition, Haaretz said that the Shin Bet objected to the Russian ship’s presence because it might be used to spy on Israel. The concerns were fueled by suspicions that a Russian naval ship that docked in Israel last year was also attempting espionage.