After relocating envoy to Lviv, Israel calls on its citizens to leave Ukraine immediately

February 23, 2022 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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Foreign Minister Yair Lapid spoke on Tuesday with Israeli Ambassador to Ukraine Michael Brodsky and embassy staff who recently arrived at the city of Lviv, after leaving Kyiv overnight.

Ukrainian flags together with Israeli flags wave in the wind in the Ukraine’s President, Petro Poroshenko, visit the the Knesset. Jerusalem, Dec 2015. Photo by Hillel Maeir/TPS

Lviv is located near the Polish border, whereas Kyiv is located not far from the borders with Russia and Belarus, where Russian forces have amassed ahead of an invasion of Ukraine.

Lapid emphasized that “protecting the lives of Israel’s emissaries, Israeli citizens situated in Ukraine, and the large Jewish community in the country, is the State of Israel’s top priority.”

He thanked Brodsky and the entire embassy team, as well as Foreign Ministry staff, for “their accurate and efficient assessments and execution of the evacuation procedure.”

The embassy team joined the staff of the temporary consular office, which was established in Lviv last week and will continue to provide services to Israelis.

At a situation assessment held Tuesday morning at the Foreign Ministry, Lapid expressed his appreciation of Ukraine’s neighbours Poland, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, and Moldova for their consent to Israel’s request to allow the passage of Israeli citizens through land border crossings if needed.

“The Foreign Ministry reiterates its call to all Israeli citizens to leave Ukraine immediately,” it stated.

US State Department personnel currently in Lviv spend their nights in Poland and regularly return to continue their diplomatic work in Ukraine and provide emergency consular services.

Israel has remained officially silent on the crisis between the West and Russia and was one of the only countries that did not condemn Russia for its latest actions. With ties with Moscow and Kyiv and a large Jewish community in both, Israel does not want to be perceived as taking sides in the conflict.

However, Minister of Diaspora Nachman Shai told Kan 11 Radio on Monday that said that if the US asks Israel to join the sanctions against the Russians, “we will try to avoid reaching this place. I assume that Israel will go with the camp closer to it, the Western countries. Our loyalty is first and foremost to the United States.”

Kyiv is not happy with Israel’s conduct and statements and Israeli Ambassador to Ukraine Michael Brodsky was summoned on Thursday for a clarification conversation at the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, a diplomatic reprimand, following the publication of a telephone conversation between Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister and Israel Foreign Ministry Director-General Alon Ushpiz.

Brodsky explained at the meeting that the conversation between Jerusalem and Moscow had two purposes: to convey a message of de-escalation and to express concern for the security of Israelis

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