Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday denounced the lack of aid from Israel during the war with Russia, saying his country got “nothing” from Israel.
"I am shocked. I did not understand what happened to Israel," Zelenskyy told French television network TV5Monde, as quoted by i24NEWS. "I don't understand why they can't provide us with anti-aircraft means."
"Israel did not provide us with anything. Nothing. Zero! I am not accusing the leaders. I note the facts: there were discussions with the leaders of Israel, and it did not help Ukraine," added the Ukrainian President.
"We can notice the influence of Russia on Israel," he added, noting that Israeli society was relatively favorable to the Ukrainian cause.
Israel has delivered several tons of humanitarian assistance and defensive equipment to Ukraine during the war, but has stopped short of selling advanced weapons to Kyiv on the grounds that such deliveries would harm the diplomatic relations that Jerusalem maintains with Moscow.
Israel is trying to preserve its ties with Russia in light of Russia's military presence in Syria.
In March, Zelenskyy spoke to the Knesset in an online address, telling lawmakers, "In Israel, we know very well that Iron Dome, your missile interception system, is the best. We know that you know how to stand up and protect your interests and also help Ukraine protect the Jews of Ukraine."
"One can often ask why we cannot receive weapons from you, why Israel did not impose serious sanctions on Russia?" he continued. "Why not apply pressure? You have to give answers to these questions and then live with your response."
The speech was met with criticism both by senior government ministers as well as by members of the opposition who said that Zelenskyy belittled the memory of the Holocaust with his words.
Earlier in March, Ukraine’s Ambassador to Israel, Yevgen Korniychuk, expressed disappointment over Israel’s handling of the Russian invasion of his country.
In an interview with Channel 12 News, Korniychuk said his country is receiving lots of support from ordinary Israelis but “we see very little from the Israeli government in terms of support, in terms of the sanctions against the aggressor, in terms of our military and defense needs, and they know about it. Time is running out and unfortunately it’s not in our favor. That’s all I can tell you. I’m nobody to judge the Israeli government, honestly.”
“What I can tell you is that the Ukrainian President has a Jewish mom, and he always had more expectations from the Israeli government than what he’s getting. That’s all I can tell you,” Korniychuk added.
(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)