Netanyahu Considers Ukraine Visit Amidst Shifting Geopolitical Dynamics

Ukraine’s ambassador to Israel, Yevgen Korniychuk. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

In an interesting turn of events, Ukrainian Ambassador to Israel Yevgen Kornichuk revealed on Wednesday that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is in the initial stages of planning a trip to Ukraine. Kornichuk had discussed the matter with the Prime Minister’s Office, which showed a willingness to consider a visit to Kyiv, especially in light of recent developments related to Russia.

While the trip is still in its early planning phase and no specific date has been set, the Ukrainian ambassador expressed optimism about Netanyahu’s potential visit. Kornichuk emphasized the significance of Netanyahu’s presence in Kyiv, stating that it could potentially pave the way for the Israeli Prime Minister to strengthen ties with the White House. He noted that the invitation to visit Ukraine had been extended multiple times, and he hoped that Netanyahu would accept it, leading to a meeting between the two leaders.

This situation represents a departure from the usual dynamics observed in recent decades, where countries sought to enhance their relationships with Yerushalayim as a means to get closer to Washington. Notably, Netanyahu has yet to receive an invitation to the White House, and it has been suggested that the Israeli government’s planned judicial reform is a contributing factor in this regard, as indicated by President Joe Biden.

Adding further intrigue to the potential trip, Israeli Russian-language station, Best Radio, reported on Wednesday that Netanyahu is contemplating a stop in Chișinău to meet the President of Moldova while en route to Kyiv. This demonstrates the Prime Minister’s intention to engage with multiple regional leaders during his visit.

Moreover, the Israeli Foreign Ministry, for the first time, publicly recommended that Netanyahu meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Yuval Fuchs, the head of the Foreign Ministry’s Eurasia Division, made this suggestion during a meeting of the Foreign Policy Subcommittee of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Tuesday.

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