YEVGENY BIYATOV/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images
- Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett shared details of his mediations with Putin.
- He asked the Russian president directly if he planned to kill Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
- Bennett says he made President Putin promise not to kill Ukraine’s president.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett made President Putin promise not to kill Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy, he said in a five-hour-long interview posted to his YouTube account.
Bennet served as a secret intermediary in the early stages of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and was one of the few Western leaders to visit Moscow.
The former prime minister said he directly asked Putin if he planned to harm Zelenskyy. “I asked, ‘what’s with this? Are you planning to kill Zelenskyy?'” said Bennett, per AP.
“He said, ‘I won’t kill Zelenskyy.’ I then said to him, ‘I have to understand that you’re giving me your word that you won’t kill Zelenskyy.’ He said, ‘I’m not going to kill Zelenskyy.'”
Bennett then said he later informed Ukraine’s president of this promise.
Bennett also said that in his mediation, Putin stepped back from his pledge to demand Ukraine’s disarmament, and Zelesnkyy promised that Ukraine would not join NATO.
Bennett’s attempts at meditation were tested by Russia when Putin had to apologize to him after Moscow’s top diplomat previously accused Israel of being pro-Nazi over its support of Ukraine.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov falsely suggested in May 2022 that Adolf Hitler was Jewish. Russia also accused Israel of being pro-Nazi by showing support for Kyiv.