Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky suggested on Saturday that negotiations between Ukraine and Russia to end the war could be held in Jerusalem. The Ukrainian leader also told media he believed Israel could provide security guarantees for his country, and said he hoped Prime Minister Naftali Bennett would have a positive influence on negotiations. Zelensky spoke at a special briefing for reporters from Kyiv, under heavy guard. He said he told Bennett he did not believe negotiations could take place in Russia, Ukraine, or Belarus.
Ukraine’s Prime Minister Volodymyr Zelensky said on Saturday that he hopes for significant positive influence from Bennett on Russia talks. Zelensky even suggested to Bennet that Russia talks could take place in Jerusalem, adding that Israel could provide security guarantees to Ukraine.
In a stunning end times twist, Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky is asking that peace talks with Putin and Russia be held the capital city of Israel in Jerusalem. What could be crazier than that? When nations are involved it’s history, but when Israel is involved it’s prophecy, and the Russian Ukraine conflict, whatever it truly is, is far from over. How much you want to wager that should the peace talks actually be held in Jerusalem, that Emmanuel Macron will make a guest appearance? One can only hope.
“Blessed be the LORD out of Zion, which dwelleth at Jerusalem. Praise ye the LORD.”Psalm 135:21 (KJB)
Zelensky to Bennett: Russia talks could take place in Jerusalem
FROM THE JERUSALEM POST: Also on Saturday, the US said it is willing to take diplomatic steps that the Ukrainian government would find helpful, according to a State Department spokesperson after President Volodymyr Zelensky said the West should be more involved in negotiations to end the war. Moscow has said little about Bennett’s mediation efforts. It has issued terms including that Ukraine recognizes Crimea as Russian and Russian-backed breakaway areas as independent. Kyiv says it will not cede any territory. One official briefed on the mediation, and who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, envisaged a potential situation where the warring countries “put it (the recognition issue) on the side, perhaps for 10 or 15 years.”
As a possible precedent, the official cited the Soviet-Japanese peace pact of 1956 that left the status of disputed islands unresolved. It was not immediately clear if the remarks reflected wider thinking in Kyiv or Moscow. The crisis diplomacy, coordinated with the United States, Germany and France, has been a high-wire act for Bennett. He has left it to his foreign minister to condemn the Russian invasion in Israel’s name. That, said another official, was meant to keep Putin’s door open to the Israeli prime minister.
Power in Russia is pooled entirely around this one man. It’s highly personal. Israel has managed relations with Russia through leader-to-leader contacts, and that requires avoiding soundbites that might stir up ill will,” the official said.
Citing the time that Putin and Zelenskiy have invested in speaking to – and through – Bennett, a senior official in Israel’s Foreign Ministry, Simona Halperin, said in a radio interview on Thursday the mediation efforts “certainly, certainly have a chance of succeeding.”
France and Germany call for peace
Meanwhile, on the Russian side, President Vladimir Putin told French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz about the state of negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv and responded to their concerns about the humanitarian situation in Ukraine during a three-way phone call on Saturday, the Kremlin said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin did not show a willingness to end a war with Ukraine during a call on Saturday with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, a French presidency official said.
The French and German leaders reiterated their call for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine as a condition for full negotiations, the official said
Finland and Russia speak
Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin discussed the need for ceasefire and humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians in Ukraine in a phone call on Friday, the Finnish president’s office said in a statement. In the call, which lasted for one hour, Niinisto told Putin the worsening crisis in Ukraine was strongly impacting Western opinion.
“President Niinisto emphasized the need to establish an immediate ceasefire and ensure the safe evacuation of civilians along humanitarian corridors,” the statement read.
Niinisto earlier in the day also spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to discuss Russia’s invasion, and the Finnish president later tweeted that he was “doing my best for peace.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday there had been some progress in Moscow’s talks with Ukraine, but provided no details.
“There are certain positive shifts, negotiators on our side tell me,” Putin said in a meeting with his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko, adding that talks continued “practically on a daily basis.”
Putin did not elaborate, but said in the televised remarks that he would go into more detail with Lukashenko.
Swiss says leave
Switzerland has advised its citizens to leave Russia, the foreign ministry said in a travel advisory on its website on Friday.
“The foreign ministry recommends that Swiss nationals whose presence in Russia is not urgently required leave the country temporarily and by their own means. The decision to leave the country is an individual decision,” it said. READ MORE