The Ukrainian Threat: Ukraine's Ambassador to Israel, Yevgen Korniychuk, addressed this morning (Sunday) the cases of deporting Ukrainian citizens who fled their country due to the war upon entry to Israel, and he cautioned that his country will not accept further deportation cases. In his remarks, he warned that if assistance to war refugees does not continue, Ukraine will consider prohibiting Israelis from entering Ukraine during Rosh HaShanah.
"The government of Ukraine will not tolerate the humiliation of its citizens upon entry to Israel. The option to suspend the mutual visa waiver agreement is on our table," stated Korniychuk. "If the deportation of Ukrainians from Israel does not cease, we will consider restricting entry of Israelis to Ukraine. Ukraine will terminate the visa exemption agreement with Israel."
According to him, "t is impossible for us to have to go out of our way to host tens of thousands of Israelis in Uman, with a high security risk and immense logistical effort, while on the other hand – the Israeli government mistreats our citizens arriving in Israel. If Israel wants its citizens to be able to come to Ukraine as tourists, including to Uman, Prime Minister Netanyahu needs to personally intervene in finding a solution to the current situation."
Korniychuk's words come after last Friday when the Prime Minister's Office announced that the decision had been made to continue assistance to Ukrainian war refugees. According to a statement by the Ministry's Director-General, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich held a series of meetings and consultations on the matter, and the two decided that the aid to Ukrainian war refugees will continue at least until the end of the current year.
Rabbi Moshe Azman, Chief Rabbi of Ukraine, responded to the decision and conveyed, "I want to congratulate Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and my dear friend Yossi Shelley, the Director-General of the Prime Minister's Office, on the blessed decision to extend social and healthcare assistance to Ukrainian war refugees until the end of the year. This is an important and necessary humanitarian action for the sake of those who fled to Israel from the war in Ukraine. I call on the Israeli government not to wait until the end of the year and to formulate a solution for refugees for the year 2024 right now."