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Ambassador denies media reports Zelenskyy was kept from visiting Israel

Representatives of the Ukrainian leader did not request a visit to the Israeli authorities. 

Ambassador denies media reports Zelenskyy was kept from visiting Israel
Photo: Presidential Office’s press service

The Israeli media reported that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had asked for permission to visit Israel after the latest Hamas attack in solidarity and was allegedly denied. Ukrainian Ambassador to Israel Yevhen Korniychuk denied this information.

The Times of Israel reported on the Ukrainian president's intentions to visit Israel, citing Hebrew-language media. It was noted that Zelenskyy allegedly asked for consent to an official visit to Israel as a sign of solidarity in connection with the Hamas attack. However, he was rejected, explaining that the visit was "not at the right time".

The publication also recalled that after the Hamas attack on 7 October, Zelenskyy supported Israel, saying that the country has an undeniable right to defend itself against attacks by Palestinian terrorists.

"Terror is always a crime, not only against one country or specific victims, but against humanity as a whole," he said.

Later, Ukraine's Ambassador to Israel Yevhen Korniychuk said in an interview with Israel's Best Radio that the information that the Israeli authorities had refused to allow President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to visit is speculation. According to him, the Ukrainian leader's representatives did not request a visit to the Israeli authorities.

"All of this is speculative talk that has nothing to do with our relations. There was no official appeal from Zelenskyy. I am sure that during his next international tour, there will be such an opportunity, and the Israeli government has no objections," the diplomat said.

Korniychuk added that Zelenskyy's travel options in a full-scale war are very limited, and his visits to different countries are announced upon arrival.

"It may be a bit strange for Israeli journalists, but I think it's logical. In a situation of war, it is good and right that we learn about Zelenskyy's movements when he steps off the plane to the country where he arrives. That is why diplomats and politicians do not discuss when and where Zelenskyy will arrive," the ambassador said.

Earlier, Israeli media outlets also reported, citing sources, that Volodymyr Zelenskyy wanted to visit Israel as a sign of solidarity against the backdrop of the fighting in Gaza. Allegedly, the Office of the President of Ukraine sent an official request to the office of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to coordinate the visit. 

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