Zelensky suggests talks with Russia could be held in Jerusalem

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivers a virtual address to Congress
J. Scott Applewhite/Pool/AP

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday suggested that Israel could be the meeting ground for future peace talks with Russia, Reuters reports.

In his daily video update to Ukrainian citizens, Zelensky said Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett was making concerted efforts to negotiate peace talks between the two countries.

“We are grateful for his efforts, so that sooner or later we will begin to have talks with Russia, possibly in Jerusalem,” he said. “That’s the right place to find peace. If possible.”

Zelensky on Sunday addressed Israeli lawmakers virtually, criticizing the country’s relatively limited response to Russian aggression as it seeks to be a neutral mediator. 

“Why has Israel refrained from sanctions on Russia? Israel needs to give answers to these questions and after that, live with them,” Zelensky said. 

Following the address, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid pledged that his country will “never turn its back on people suffering from the nightmares of war.”

Bennett has spent recent weeks trying to facilitate talks between Russia and Ukraine, including a visit to Moscow last earlier this month to speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“This is no joke. This is high stakes for Israel,” Jonathan Schanzer, senior vice president for research with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, previously told The Hill.

“There are core Israeli national interests at stake here, and they are trying to figure out how to preserve them while also trying to avert a crisis.”

Tags Israel peace talks Russia Ukraine Vladimir Putin Volodymyr Zelenskyy

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