Jason DeCrow/AP Images for Avaaz
russia Ukraine protest

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid reiterated Israel’s commitment to “do everything it can to assist mediation efforts [and] to stop the shooting and restore peace.”

By Aryeh Svir, TPS

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid again stated that Israel “condemns the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and calls for an end to the fighting,” adding that “there is no justification for violating Ukraine’s territorial integrity, and there is no justification for attacks on a civilian population.”

Speaking alongside Slovak Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Ivan Korčok in Bratislava on Monday, Lapid reiterated Israel’s commitment that it will “do everything it can to assist mediation efforts, to stop the shooting and restore peace. We are working together with our greatest ally, the United States, and our European friends, to prevent the continuation of this tragedy.”

Lapid made very similar remarks while meeting with the Romanian leadership on Sunday, the first leg of his two-day trip to the two European countries bordering Ukraine.

He further underscored that Israel “will not be a route to bypass sanctions imposed on Russia by the United States and other western countries. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is coordinating [on] the issue together with partners [such as] the Bank of Israel, the Finance Ministry, the Economy Ministry, the Airports Authority, the Energy Ministry, and others.”

He was apparently responding to criticism made by the U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland, who told Israel’s Channel 12 News on Friday that “we are asking, among other things, for every democracy around the world to join us in the financial and export control sanctions that we have put on Putin. We have to squeeze the regime. We have to deny it the income that it needs, squeeze the oligarchs around him, we squeeze its economy.”

“In that context, we are asking as many countries as we can to join us. We are asking that of Israel as well. Among other things, you don’t want to become the last haven for dirty money that’s fueling Putin’s wars,” she warned.

‘This War Must End’

Lapid further stated that “this war must end. European soil has known too many wars, and the only thing that came out of them was terrible suffering. In recent years, there has been peace in Europe, and what has emerged has been a prosperity that the human race has never seen before.”

“Israel and Slovakia are cooperating in getting humanitarian aid into Ukrainian territory. So far, Israel has sent over 100 tons of medical equipment, generators, and other goods into Ukraine, and we thank the government of Slovakia for its cooperation,” he said.

While Israel and Slovakia have ideas about how to deepen their ties, “at the moment we are focused on the effort to assist the Ukrainian people, and refugees from the war.”

Lapid concluded by stating that he was looking forward to hosting Korčok “soon in Israel on the occasion of the opening of your new office in Jerusalem.”

Slovakia announced in July that it had plans to open an “institute” in Jerusalem, possibly a step toward the opening of a proper diplomatic mission in the city.

Lapid later met with Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová and discussed the situation at border crossings and in the countries surrounding Ukraine.

Lapid thanked the President for her staff’s cooperation with Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs personnel, and “expressed along with her hope that he will return for a visit in times of peace and quiet.”