Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday decided to cancel the upcoming visit of the Ukrainian prime minister as a consequence of Kiev voting in a favor of an anti-settlements resolution at the United Nations Security Council.
Volodymyr Groysman, who became Ukraine’s first Jewish prime minister earlier this year, was scheduled to arrive in Israel on Tuesday for a two-day visit that included meetings with Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin and other top officials.
The Foreign Ministry on Saturday confirmed the cancellation, but declined to elaborate.
Ukraine was among the 14 Security Council members who voted on Friday for Resolution 2334, which declared that Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem have “no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-state solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.”
The United States abstained, allowing the resolution to pass, and drawing the ire of Israeli officials.
In the wake of the vote, Netanyahu, who is also foreign minister, ordered a series of punitive measures against New Zealand and Senegal, two of the four countries that co-sponsored the resolution. (Israel does not have diplomatic relations with the other two sponsoring countries, Venezuela and Malaysia.)
Netanyahu recalled Israel’s ambassadors in New Zealand and Senegal to Jerusalem for consultations. He cancelled the upcoming visit to Israel of the Senegalese foreign minister and instructed the Foreign Ministry to cancel all aid programs to Senegal. He also ordered the cancellation of visits in Israel of the non-resident ambassadors of Senegal and New Zealand.
In addition, he vowed to cut funding for various UN agencies, specifying in a speech on Saturday night that he had already ordered an end to NIS 30 million in funding for five unnamed UN bodies.
Former foreign minister Tzipi Livni responded to Netanyahu’s move, saying that by the logic he was employing in canceling the Ukrainian PM’s trip, Israel would have to sever ties with the United Kingdom, China, France and Russia, who all voted in favor of Resolution 2334.
“Netanyahu is isolating Israel because of isolated settlements,” she wrote on Twitter.