Foreign Affairs Minister Yair Lapid held a discussion with his British counterpart, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, on Monday, to address the ongoing war in Ukraine and its global consequences.
“I just finished a long and productive conversation with the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom, Liz Truss,” Lapid tweeted.
“We discussed the situation in Ukraine and the resulting global consequences, and I updated her on the humanitarian aid which Israel will be transferring to Ukraine,” he added, referring to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s announcement on Sunday about 100 tons in humanitarian aid that Israel intends to provide to Ukraine in the coming days.
Entering the fifth day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a tiny sliver of hope emerged as the first face-to-face talks between Ukrainian and Russian officials since the war began opened Monday.
However, fierce fighting continued in Ukraine’s second-most populated city of Kharkiv, as Russian shelling killed at least 11 civilians and injured dozens more.
“The Russian enemy is bombing residential areas,” Ukrainian Regional Governor Oleg Sinegubov wrote. “As a result of the bombardments that are ongoing, we cannot call on the emergency services.”
Lapid has voiced strong criticism of the unprovoked Russian invasion.
Shortly after Russian troops crossed the border into Ukrainian territory on Thursday, Lapid said the invasion was “a grave violation of the international order,” marking Israel’s harshest condemnation of Moscow since.
“Israel is a country that has experienced wars, and war is not the way to resolve conflicts,” he said, calling on both sides to return to the negotiating table.
On Sunday, Lapid reportedly said in a private meeting that Israel must condemn dictators.
“Israel must be on the right side and condemn dictators who attack democracies,” he said in an apparent reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
On Monday, announcing that Israel would vote in favor of a UN resolution condemning the Russian invasion, Lapid said Israel “has been and will be on the right side of history.”
Truss has adopted a more forceful tone regarding the situation, saying on Sunday that she would “absolutely” support Britons who choose to go to Ukraine to help fight the Russian invasion.
“Absolutely, if people want to support that struggle I would support them in doing that,” she said.
“The people of Ukraine are fighting for freedom and democracy, not just for Ukraine, but for the whole of Europe,” she added, reflecting the decisive position taken by the UK since the war began.
Earlier on Sunday, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky urged foreigners to head to Ukrainian embassies worldwide to sign up for an “international brigade” of volunteers to help fight invading Russian forces.
“All foreigners wishing to join the resistance against the Russian occupiers and protect global security are invited by the Ukrainian leadership to come to our state and join the ranks of the territorial defense forces,” Zelensky said in a statement on the presidential website.