Israel will never back down on celebrating Victory Day on May 9, with it being an official holiday that is enshrined in law, the country’s Ambassador to Moscow Alexander Ben Zvi said.
"Israel will never let it happen. We have this day as an official holiday, enshrined in law. There are many veterans in Israel, who have been looking forward to celebrating this day. This is a very emotional day for them. Israel has always celebrated May 9, and will always do so," the envoy said in an interview with TASS.
Zvi said that Israel will give an answer to a hypothetical request for playing the role of a security guarantor, if such a proposal comes from both Russia and Ukraine. "Yes, of course. If there is such a request," Ben Zvi said in reply to a corresponding question. "The more so, if it comes from both sides, and this is important. A request from one side only will be not enough. Both parties are to be prepared for such a move."
He also noted that Israel confirms its readiness to host a possible meeting between Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Vladimir Zelensky of Ukraine. "Certainly," he said in response to a question. "However, they (Putin and Zelensky) need to make a decision," the envoy added.
According to him, Israel would consider it "a great honor" to host possible talks between the Russian and Ukrainian presidents. "We will be happy to host such a meeting in Jerusalem," Ben Zvi noted.
He also pointed out that the delegations of Russia and Ukraine could also hold meetings in Jerusalem. "What was done in Turkey can also be done in our country," the Israeli ambassador said.
Alexander Ben Zvi continued saying that Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Russian President Vladimir Putin maintain regular contact with each other. "Indeed, they are in regular contact with each other," he said. "I cannot say when exactly their next [contact] will take place," the envoy added.
Putin and Bennett have held several telephone conversations since the beginning of the year. In addition, the Israeli prime minister made a brief visit to Moscow in early March. The two leaders discussed the situation around Ukraine.