Ukraine is reportedly considering taking retaliatory measures against Israel due to what it perceives as a lack of support from the Jewish state. The Kyiv Post newspaper, citing an unnamed security source, reported that among the measures being considered is the expulsion of Israel from high-level meetings at the US’ Air Force Base at Ramstein in Europe.
The source expressed frustration over Israel’s “unfriendly actions towards Ukraine and pro-Russian position on the international arena.” The unnamed Ukrainian security official also expressed concerns about Israel potentially leaking information discussed during the Ramstein meetings to Russia, referring to it as the “aggressor state.”
The regular meetings at the Ramstein air base, known as the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, involve representatives from 30 NATO members and 24 other countries coordinating military aid donations to Ukraine. The proposed expulsion of Israel from these meetings indicates Ukraine’s dissatisfaction with the Jewish state’s perceived lack of assistance.
In addition to the expulsion from the Ramstein meetings, Ukraine is reportedly considering nullifying the visa-free regime with Israel. The country’s foreign ministry is said to be preparing a submission to the Cabinet of Ministers in this regard.
This development comes amid other tensions between Ukraine and Israel. Ukrainian Ambassador to Israel, Yevgeni Kornichuk, recently claimed that approximately 10% of Ukrainian tourists are being deported from Israel without any explanation. Kornichuk also criticized Israel’s decision to terminate health insurance benefits for Ukrainian refugees in the country.
In June, Ukraine’s Embassy in Tel Aviv accused Israel of “complete inaction in providing Ukraine with defensive assistance.” The embassy criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for coming up with “entirely fictional and speculative assumptions” to justify the lack of such deliveries to Kiev.
A significant point of contention is Ukraine’s repeated requests for Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system, which have been rejected by the Jewish state. Israel cited concerns that the technology could end up in the hands of Iranians if transferred to Ukraine.
Ukraine’s representatives have also claimed that the current Israeli government has chosen to cooperate closely with Russia. They pointed to the agreement to establish a branch office of the Russian consulate in West Jerusalem and the booming trade between the two countries as evidence of Israel’s pro-Russian position.
The Kyiv Post’s report suggests that Ukraine is increasingly frustrated with what it perceives as insufficient support from Israel. The proposed retaliatory measures, including banning Israel from high-level meetings and nullifying the visa-free regime, demonstrate Ukraine’s determination to address its grievances. The ongoing tensions between the two countries highlight the complexities of Ukraine’s relationships with various international actors.