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Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at a previous meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russia Open to Talks with Ukraine in Jerusalem

Russia has been open to holding negotiations with Ukraine in Jerusalem, a senior diplomatic source told JPost on Saturday, March 12, soon after Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke on the phone.

Zelenskyy had said earlier on Saturday that “at present, it's not constructive to hold meetings in Russia, Ukraine, or Belarus. These are not the places where we can agree to stop the war... Do I consider Israel, Jerusalem in particular, to be such a place? I think the answer is yes."

Russia has not rejected the idea of negotiations in Jerusalem, the diplomatic source said, but Israel is not sure it should host the talks.

“We know from our experience that negotiations that don’t have a chance lead to a worse situation on the ground,” the source told JPost, adding, “We have to see if we can really be helpful. If there can be a breakthrough, we’ll do anything.”

Bennett and Zelenskyy held a lengthy phone call on Saturday evening.

During the conversation, which lasted over an hour, the two also discussed possible options for ending the fighting in Ukraine, as well as Israel's efforts on the matter.

On Friday, Bennett had pushed Zelenskyy to take Putin’s proposal for ending the war. An official in the Prime Minister’s Office denied the claim.

Bennett, who has been trying to mediate between Russia and Ukraine, last Saturday made a surprise visit to Moscow, where he met Putin to discuss the crisis in Ukraine. From Moscow, Bennett flew to Berlin where he met with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz before returning to Israel. He also spoke to Zelenskyy several times on Saturday.

On Sunday, March 13, Bennett spoke on the telephone with Zelenskyy, for the third time in the last 24 hours. Later in the day, Bennett held another telephone conversation with Putin. (INN / VFI News)

“God, we ask that you bring peace between Ukraine and Russia, and bring comfort to the victims of this war.”

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