On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and continued his efforts to consolidate the ceasefire.
why does it matter: Bennett’s initiatives are part of a broader effort that includes French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Schulz. The three leaders coordinate their communication with Putin and Zelensky.
News leadership: Bennett Visited Moscow on Saturday He met Putin in the Kremlin. He was the only Western leader to do so since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Before leaving Moscow on Saturday, Bennett called Zelensky and briefed him on the meeting.
- Bennett traveled from Moscow to Berlin and met with Schulz to update him on the meeting with Putin. On his way to Berlin airport before returning to Israel, Bennett spoke to Macron and made another call with Zelensky.
- Sunday morning, Bennett spoke again to Zelensky. This was their third call in less than 15 hours. On Sunday afternoon, he spoke again with Putin. After the call with Putin, Bennett again called Macron and Schultz.
- The Israeli, German, and French officials Axios spoke to declined to give any details about the content of this wave of phone calls and commitments between their leaders and between Putin and Zelensky.
what are they saying: During a cabinet meeting on Sunday, Bennett said he went to Moscow to help with the dialogue between all parties. He confirmed that he received the blessing and encouragement of all participating players.
- “I cannot go into more detail. We will continue to provide assistance as needed. Even if the opportunity is not great – once there is a small opportunity, and we have access to all parties and capacity – I see that it is our moral obligation to make every effort.”
What then: Bennett keeps the Biden administration updated on his conversations with Putin and Zelensky. Israeli officials told Axios that his national security adviser, Eyal Holata, spoke by phone on Saturday and Sunday with his US counterpart Jake Sullivan to update him.
- The Israeli foreign minister will meet Foreign Minister Anthony Blinken in Latvia on Monday. Israeli officials said the reason for the meeting was to coordinate positions with the United States regarding ceasefire efforts.
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