Bennett meets with Putin, October 21st 2021
Bennett meets with Putin, October 21st 2021 Kobi Gideon/GPO

Israel is working to defuse tensions between the US and Russia, amid a simmering border crisis between Russia and the Ukraine, Galei Tzahal reported Wednesday morning.

According to the report, the US requested Israel serve as a mediator in diplomatic efforts to prevent a major rift between the US and Russia.

The report also said that Israel is maintaining a low profile publicly on the crisis between Russia and the Ukraine, noting the large Jewish populations in both countries and citing fears that overt Israel support for either side could fuel anti-Semitism against Jews in the region.

The US has been trying to deescalate tensions with Russia over the past few days, even as President Joe Biden suggested Tuesday that he may impose sanctions on his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.

A day earlier, he Pentagon announced that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had placed around 8,500 US-based troops on "heightened alert" for rapid deployment to assist NATO if needed.

No decision to deploy them had been made, though, according to Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, who noted that the US could also offer troops already stationed in Europe.