Ukrainian intelligence services are working in “close cooperation” with their Israeli counterparts, a senior adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Thursday hairnet Daily.
“I have great respect for the heads of your intelligence agencies,” Andriy Yermak, head of Zelenskyy’s office, told Israeli reporters. “I know many of them personally. These are very great professionals and patriots of Israel and patriots of the whole free world. So I know that our intelligence is satisfied with this cooperation, but of course more can always be done,” he said.
He added that Israeli intelligence is “one of the best in the world.”
Yermak praised Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s efforts to mediate between Ukraine and Russia.
He added that he considers Jerusalem “one of the priority places for President Zelenskyy’s meeting with the President of the Russian Federation.”
“It is now high time that this meeting of Presidents took place. The war has lasted too long,” he said.
He expressed hope that Israel will become a guarantor of security guarantees for Ukraine in a future peace agreement.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett offered to act as mediator between Russia and Ukraine during a phone call with President Vladimir Putin on Sunday, the Kremlin said in a statement. https://t.co/2sGt1mMAFu
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) February 27, 2022
Yermak dismissed reports that Bennett had pressured Zelenskyy to accept Russia’s demands for territorial compromises.
“There was no pressure,” he said.
He added that although fundamental differences remain, Russian demands have eased and Ukraine is now cautiously optimistic.
While territorial concessions are off the table, the issue of Donbass and Crimea can be discussed, he said.
However, he criticized Israel for not doing more to help Ukraine with weapons and spyware.
“We have expressed clear expectations that we need the Iron Dome system and other types of weapons,” he said. However, Israeli defense experts have claimed that Israel’s missile defense system would be useless in the kind of conflict Ukraine is facing.
He slammed Israeli criticism of Zelenskyy’s Knesset speech earlier this week, in which he compared the Russian invasion to the Holocaust, as “100% fake news and lies.”
“Zelensky never compared [this to] the holocaust of World War II, when millions of Jews were exterminated, and I want to remind you that our President is Jewish and I have Jewish blood too,” Yermak said. “You don’t have to tell us that, we understand the tragedy of the Jewish people. He never made that comparison. He said the behavior of the Russians on our territory, destroying our cities and killing civilians, was very similar to the behavior of the Nazis.”