Ukraine stands with Israel on Iran nuclear crisis

Amid an escalating war of words between Israel and Iran, Ukraine remains one of Israel’s strongest allies.

(PR NewsChannel) / March 19, 2013 / WASHINGTON 

Ukraine Israel Iran nuclear weaponsSince the breakup of the former Soviet Union, several countries have worked diligently to build relations with Israel, and Ukraine has blossomed into one of the country’s strongest allies.  

With U.S. president Barack Obama heading to Israel, the international focus is on the United States and its relationship with Israel which has recently has been considered strained due to some key policy differences. 

But other countries recognize the importance of Israel, and the relevance it plays in ensuring Iran does not pose a nuclear threat to the rest of the world. Ukraine fully supports Israel on this important issue in its quest to keep Iran in check, and remains a key ally to Israel. 

An article in the Jerusalem Post describes the relationship this way: “Ukraine has emerged as perhaps the friendliest of the former Soviet republics toward Israel. Just how friendly has been displayed in its voting patterns in world bodies, where Kiev consistently supports Israel.”  Though leadership in Ukraine may have changed over the years, Ukraine’s support of Israel has not. It’s a relationship, perhaps, made easier because of a shared history and similar types of struggles. “Ukraine and Israel are comparatively young states, while the history of relations between our peoples is centuries old,” Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych told the Post. “The interconnection of peoples’ lives and cultures in the historic perspective is an important element of the friendly, cooperative relations between our two countries today.  “I take this opportunity to reiterate Ukraine’s willingness to deepen the broad ties with our fellow countrymen.”

Ukraine, Israel travel

Today, Ukrainians and Israelis may enter territory, travel through it or stay on Ukraine/Israel without having to obtain visas for 90 days within a period of 180 days. Ukraine is rich with Jewish history, and for many Jews, Ukraine also holds many memories regarding the Holocaust. “As Ukraine is a newly independent state, this serves to create a common sense of identity of Ukraine and Israel as nations who gained their independence in the 20th century,” according to Samson Blinded.

That close relationship, which appears to be growing closer over the years, has not gone un-noticed by pundits, particularly in Israel. Israeli tourists do not need visas to visit Ukraine, which has jump-started Ukraine’s tourism industry. Israelis can now easily visit graves of famous rabbis or go to Ukraine for a vacation or to conduct business in key industrial sectors. The trade between the two countries is expanding, and the countries have agreed to collaborate in key industries including technology, missile defense, and agriculture.  In 2012 trade between the two countries reached close to $1 billion, and has the potential to expand even more.   

In addition, they share the common goal of dealing swiftly with Iran on the nuclear issue. As the US engages Israel on this issue, Israel will be backed broadly by the international community.  Currently, Iran has severed all diplomatic and commercial ties with Israel, does not recognize Israel as a country and refers to its government as the “Zionist regime.” The rhetoric between Iran and Israel has increased over recent months because of Iran’s development of nuclear technology and funding of groups like Hamas and Hezbollah.  Like Ukraine, Israel is a young democracy.  But the two countries are historically tied and want to support the critical interests of each other.  This, along with many other issues, draws the two countries together in a unique, genuine and lasting friendship. 

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SOURCE:  World Global Alliance Partnership

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