Ronen Manelis
Ronen ManelisAdina Wallman, Knesset Spokesperson

Former IDF Spokesman Ronen Manelis suggested on Saturday that former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu mediate between Russia and Ukraine.

"Netanyahu was known for his good relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and also had excellent relations with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, whom he visited in Kyiv in the summer of 2019," wrote Manelis on Twitter.

"I got to see up close how Russian President Putin listens to the opposition chairman," Manelis continued. "If Israel has a chance to influence the event, it is through him. It will also be a badge of honor for the Israeli government. After he succeeds (or, God forbid, fails), we will resume normal activities."

Manelis’ suggestion follows reports on Friday that Ukraine had asked Israel to mediate the talks with Russia on reaching a ceasefire to end hostilities.

Israeli and Ukrainian officials told Kan 11 News that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had suggested to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to consider mediating between Russia and Ukraine, during a conversation between the two that took place on Friday.

Gary Koren, Deputy Director General of the Eurasia and the Western Balkans Division in the Foreign Ministry, would only say in response that he could confirm that there had been a call.

"[There was a] good call. I can confirm that we have passed messages in the past between Ukraine and Russia, these were requests that came from both the US and Ukraine," he said.

Reports last month indicated that Bennett proposed a Russia-Ukraine summit in Jerusalem to Russian President Vladimir Putin in their meeting last October.

The Ukrainian side first broached the idea of a summit in Israel with Netanyahu last spring when Russia was massing troops on the border, but it never gained much traction.