New Foreign Minister Eli Cohen speaks with Russian counterpart Lavrov
Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov calls his Israeli counterpart Eli Cohen to congratulate him taking his new post, and to discuss “bilateral and regional issues,” according to the Israeli readout.
Cohen speaks about the Jewish community in Russia and the importance of Russian-speaking Jews in Israel to ties between the countries.
Cohen and Lavrov also discuss the ongoing war in Ukraine, an Israeli official tells The Times of Israel. There is no change in Israel’s policy around the Ukraine-Russia conflict, the official adds.
According to an Israeli diplomat, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken asked Cohen yesterday to pass messages on to Lavrov, but did not say what they were.
Kyiv made no request to Cohen about speaking with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, but an official said that it would be reasonable for the foreign minister to postpone his call with Lavrov until after he had spoke with Kuleba, at the very least.
Now that Cohen did not, there is a possibility Kuleba will refuse to speak to the new foreign minister for the foreseeable future.