Yair Lapid
Yair Lapid Yoni Kempinski

Israel Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) on Thursday morning attacked Russia for its actions in Ukraine.

"The Russian attack on Ukraine is a serious violation of the international order," Lapid said. "Israel condemns the attack, and is ready and prepared to provide humanitarian assistance to the citizens of Ukraine."

"Israel is a country that has experienced wars, and war is not the way to resolve conflicts," he added. "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."

"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 priority list.

"In addition, we must maintain the security and safety of Foreign Ministry personnel, Nativ personnel and Jewish Agency personnel located in Ukraine. At this time, they are risking their lives to continue to provide assistance and help to every Israeli and every Jew.

"Earlier this week, I ordered the evacuation of our Embassy in Kiev, and moving it to offices in the city of Lvov, near the Polish border. I call on every Israeli citizen to leave Ukraine to go there as long as the roads are open. Currently, Ukraine's airspace is closed and there is no train traffic."

"Consular representatives from the Foreign Ministry have already been stationed at all border crossings near Lvov in order to help Israelis leave."

In a tweet, Lapid noted that Israeli representatives are stationed at all the main border crossings Ukraine shares with its neighbors.

"We coordinated ahead of time with all these countries - Poland, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, and Moldova - and Israelis' exist is safe and smooth," Lapid tweeted. "I thank those governments for their assistance and goodwill."

Lapid's statement echoes a similar statement from the European Commission.

In it, European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said, "We condemn in the strongest possible terms Russia's unprecedented military aggression against Ukraine."

"By its unprovoked and unjustified military actions, Russia is grossly violating international law and undermining European and global security and stability. ... We call on Russia to immediately cease the hostilities, withdraw its military from Ukraine and fully respect Ukraine's territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence."