Israel’s FM Lapid: Russian attack on Ukraine ‘a serious violation of international order’ 

February 25, 2022 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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The Russian attack on Ukraine “is a serious violation of the international order,” and Israel “condemns the attack, and is ready and prepared to provide humanitarian assistance to the citizens of Ukraine,” Foreign Minister Yair Lapid stated on Thursday, about seven hours after the Russian invasion of Ukraine commenced.

Yair Lapid

In an apparent attempt at international diplomacy, Lapid said that “Israel is a country that has experienced wars, and war is not the way to resolve conflicts. The first hours and days of any war are also the last time you can still stop and return to the negotiating table, mediated by world powers, to settle disputes peacefully.”

Seeking to maintain the middle ground stance the government has adopted in recent days, Lapid said that “Israel has deep, long-lasting, and good relations with Russia and with Ukraine. There are tens of thousands of Israelis in both countries, and there are hundreds of thousands of Jews in both countries. Maintaining their security and safety is at the top of our considerations.”

This statement is sharper than the one Israel issued on Tuesday when it stated that it “shares the concern of the international community regarding the steps taken in eastern Ukraine and the serious escalation in the situation,” and that it “supports the territorial integrity and the sovereignty of Ukraine,” but did mention Russia by name.

Until now, Israel has remained officially neutral and 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 countries, Israel does not want to be perceived as taking sides in the conflict.

Lapid again called “on every Israeli citizen to leave Ukraine as long as the roads are open.”

Ukraine’s airspace is closed and train traffic has stopped. However, Israeli Consular representatives are stationed at all border crossings near Lviv to help Israelis cross into Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, or Romania.

Israel coordinated in advance “the safe and smooth exit of Israelis. Citizens who need assistance or guidance can contact the Foreign Ministry situation room,” said Lapid.

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