Ukraine's Ambassador to Israel, Yevgen Korniychuk, told i24NEWS in an interview on Thursday that his country appreciates the aid it has been given by Israel but noted that it is impossible to win a war with humanitarian aid.
“We are grateful for whatever aid is given. In our situation, we are pleased to receive support, but you cannot win a war with humanitarian aid,” said Korniychuk. “We need defensive means to save the lives of our civilians. The war is severe and even worse during the winter.”
“What Israel can help us with is to protect our civilians. When Iran came into the picture, I was absolutely sure this military cooperation against Iran, our common enemy, would have started with Israel,” continued the Ambassador. “Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened, but the dialogue is continuing and we hope Israel will change its position towards protective equipment for Ukraine in this severe situation.”
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.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was critical of the previous government due to this refusal, and denounced the lack of aid from Israel during the war with Russia, saying his country got “nothing” from Israel.
He later reversed course and said he sees a "positive trend" in Kyiv's relations with Israel after the two countries shared intelligence about Russia's purported use of hundreds of Iranian drones in the war in Ukraine.
Israel’s new government has said it would reassess its policy on Ukraine. Foreign Minister Eli Cohen suggested when he took office that Jerusalem will “speak less” on the war and later held a phone call with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.
“That wasn’t very promising for us,” Korniychuk told i24NEWS of the phone call between Cohen and Lavrov. “But we think it's too early to judge, and we will try to keep the dialogue on a friendly basis and explain what our priorities are.”
“We will give [Israel’s new government] a chance and work together to establish better cooperation,” he said.