Ukraine envoy says Zelensky can’t understand Israel’s refusal to provide defensive equipment

Carrie Keller-Lynn is a former political and legal correspondent for The Times of Israel

Ukraine's ambassador to Israel, Yevgen Korniychuk, pleads with Israel at a press conference to provide protective equipment such as helmets and flak jackets for Ukraine, in Tel Aviv, March 7, 2022.(Avshalom Sassoni‎‏/Flash90)
Ukraine's ambassador to Israel, Yevgen Korniychuk, pleads with Israel at a press conference to provide protective equipment such as helmets and flak jackets for Ukraine, in Tel Aviv, March 7, 2022.(Avshalom Sassoni‎‏/Flash90)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “does not” understand Israel’s refusal to provide defensive equipment, such as helmets and flak jackets, to Ukraine, says his envoy to Israel Yevgen Korniychuk.

“I, as an ambassador do,” understand Israel’s position, “but our president does not,” Korniychuk tells journalists in a briefing at his Embassy’s Cultural Center in Tel Aviv.

“You do have a few airplanes and anti-missile systems in Syria that belong to Russians and you are afraid,” Korniychuk charged.

“And the same time let me point you to Baltic states that have a joint border with the Russian federation. And they don’t care, they bring everything they could to Ukraine, they’re not afraid.”

Israel has provided humanitarian aid to Ukraine, including 100 tons of medical and cold-weather equipment flown out of Ben Gurion Airport last week.

However, it has sought to walk a tightrope to maintain good relations with both Ukraine and Russia, the latter of which maintains a military presence in Syria and is negotiating Iran’s return to a nuclear deal.

Ukraine’s ambassador to Israel, Yevgen Korniychuk, gives a statement to the media on the Russian invasion to the Ukraine, in Tel Aviv, March 11, 2022. (Carrie Keller-Lynn/Times of Israel)

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