Israel backs 'sovereignty and integrity' of Ukraine after meeting in Kyiv

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dymitro Kuleba (right) with his Israeli counterpart Eli Cohen
Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dymitro Kuleba (right) with his Israeli counterpart Eli Cohen Copyright GLEB GARANICH/AP
By Mark Armstrong with AP
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Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen expresses his country's commitment to the 'sovereignty and integrity' of Ukraine after meeting his Ukrainian counterpart Dymitro Kuleba.

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Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen has expressed Israel's commitment to the "sovereignty and integrity" of Ukraine. 

He was speaking after a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Dymitro Kuleba in Kyiv. It's the first visit by a chief Israeli diplomat to Ukraine since the Russian invasion. 

Israel has tried to remain neutral in the conflict and has resisted delivering weapons to Ukraine so as not to damage its relations with Russia.

However, Cohen was clear on his country's position: "Israel, as stated in the past, stands firmly in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and remains committed to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine."

On the issue of military aid for Kyiv, Cohen gave little away but did say Israel would help develop an "intelligent early warning system for Ukraine."

He added that his government would also support projects for healthcare and civilian infrastructure in Ukraine worth up to 188 million euros. 

Kuleba thanked him for Israel's help adding that he hoped for future decisions on the "protection of the Ukrainian sky."

Meanwhile, Norway also announced a support package for Ukraine amounting to almost seven million euros. 

The country's Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store made the announcement in a video conference with Ukrainian President Volodymir Zelenskyy.

Norway has been accused of profiting from the war because of the huge profits it has made from its gas sales to Europe during the energy crisis.

In other developments, Putin ally Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko says his country will only join the Russian offensive in Ukraine if Belarus first comes under attack by Kyiv.

Lukashenko was commenting ahead of a meeting with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Friday.

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