Emil Shleymovich

Sources: Ukraine to cancel visa-free regime with Israel

Ukraine's ambassador to Israel, Yevgen Korniychuk, Emil Shleymovich, The Details
Ukraine's ambassador to Israel, Yevgen Korniychuk, Emil Shleymovich, The Details

The Ukrainian government is considering the possibility of cancelling the agreement on a visa-free regime with Israel and plans to seek the exclusion of the Jewish state from the list of partners at the Ramstein summit. Kyiv Post writes about this with reference to sources in Zelensky’s government.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry is preparing a resolution to suspend the agreement on visa-free travel between the two countries, according to sources in the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine (NSDC). According to the newspaper’s interlocutor, the main reason for such a step is “Israel’s systematic unfriendly actions towards Ukraine and its actually pro-Russian position on the international arena after Russia’s full-scale invasion”. Ukraine also plans to initiate the exclusion of Israel from the partner countries list during the Ramstein summits. In particular, the Ukrainian government is concerned about the threat of information being passed to Russia by Israeli representatives.

According to the sources, the information obtained during the meetings is used by Israel in its own interests. And most importantly, there is a real danger that this information could fall into the hands of an aggressor state,” representatives of the Ukrainian government told the journalists.

In order to justify the forthcoming measures, several facts are cited. Firstly, the Israeli government refuses to provide military assistance to Ukraine. Secondly, the Israeli authorities detain 10 per cent of Ukrainians trying to enter the country at the airport and deport them without giving any reason. And thirdly, the representative of the National Security and Defence Council notes the cancellation of health insurance for refugees from Ukraine.

Sources in the Ukrainian government commented on Israel’s interest in security guarantees for its citizens making a pilgrimage to the tomb of Tzadik Nachman in Uman. It is impossible to provide these guarantees under constant rocket attacks, one of the interlocutors stressed.

According to Israel’s leading Russian-language news and analysis website, The Details, on 9 August Israel suspended health insurance for 14,000 Ukrainian citizens “due to lack of funds”. The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Security said they had run out of the budget allocated for the programme to help refugees from Ukraine. Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich was reportedly opposed to allocating funds for health insurance for Ukrainians.

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, responding to a question from the Haaretz newspaper on 9 August, said: “I don’t know anything about stopping treatment, I will check now. It is clear that the insurance will continue, no one thinks otherwise. It has been decided that the Ministry of Social Security will take care of it, and there is a discussion now about what kind of ministry it will be”. He promised that “no one will be left without health insurance”.

Ukraine’s ambassador to Israel, Yevgen Korniychuk, urged Smotrich and Welfare Minister Yaakov Margi to reverse the decision. “We are disappointed and very concerned by the recent decision of the Israeli government to cancel health insurance for refugees from Ukraine,” he said. – Not only is the Israeli government refusing to sell Ukraine protection against the Russians killing our citizens – Israel is now cutting off medical care to refugees who fled to Israel because of the threat of brutal killings by the Russians.

About the Author
Born in 1971 in Baku (Azerbaijan). Immigrated to Israel in 2001. Emil was a member of the Israeli editorial staff of RTVI (Russian TV International), then worked at the Public Broadcasting Authority. Currently, he is the editor-in-chief of the portal
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