Ukraine's Zelenskyy says he's 'counting' on Israel to sanction Russia, Jerusalem remains quiet on penalties

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday said he is counting on Israel to sanction Russia over its six-month long deadly war following his first-ever call with Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid.

"I count on his country’s accession to the sanctions on Russia and provision of practical assistance to Ukraine in countering the aggression of the Russian Federation," Zelenskyy said in a Twitter post following the call.

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Israel has yet to join its international partners in sanctioning Russia and has suggested that Israeli laws prohibit actions taken by nations like the U.S.

Jerusalem instead has focused on making sure Russians cannot use it as safe haven as travel for wealthy oligarchs and allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin has been largely prohibited.

Despite its attempted travel blockade, Israel has yet to implement a flight ban, according to the Jerusalem Post, claiming that it continues to receive a large number of Russian Jews who are applying for immigration.

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The ban on Putin allies who support Moscow’s war in Ukraine has come up short though, according to reports this week that suggested Viktor Lukashenko, son of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, arrived in Israel Monday on a plane owned by the Belarusian government.

He reportedly left Israel within a day, but Israeli officials claimed to be unaware of his travel plans and said they were looking into incident, reported Israeli news outlets.

Despite Zelenskyy’s message calling on Israel to join nations like the U.S., E.U, U.K., Japan, Australia and Canada in slapping Moscow with economic sanctions, there was no mention of such a strategy in Lapid’s comments following the call.

The Israeli prime minister said he and Zelenskyy "talked about the fighting situation in Ukraine" and that he expressed his "condolences for the dead and injured in the war."

Lapid said he has called for "a diplomatic solution to end the fighting," though peace negotiations have been stalled for months.

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