In an interview on YouTube, Naftali Bennett, Israel’s Prime Minister at the start of Russia’s military attack on Ukraine in 2022, claims that the west impeded an attempted ceasefire he tried to initiate at the early stages of the war.
The ex-prime minister, who was also the alternate prime minister in Israel before Benjamin Netanyahu’s return as prime minister, revealed that achieving a ceasefire was a great possibility before the west’s interference, which halted the entire peace process.
Bennett, who emerged as an unexpected intermediary in the war’s early days, was one of the Western Leaders who Met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Although his negotiations behind the scenes may not have ended the war, Benett revealed his engagement with Putin, enquiring about his strategy and position.
“I asked, ‘what’s with this? Are you planning to kill Zelenskyy?’ 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,’” said Benett in the interview.
"I asked 'what's up with this? Are you planning to kill Zelensky?' He said 'I won't kill Zelensky.' I then said to him 'I have to understand that you're giving me your word that you won't kill Zelensky.' He said 'I'm not going to kill Zelensky.'" https://t.co/zIOz6ndFag
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 5, 2023
Benett revealed that he informed Zelenskyy of Putin’s pledge. However, the Ukrainian president didn’t trust his Russian counterpart’s words.
“ Listen, I came out of a meeting, he’s not going to kill you.’ He asks, ‘are you sure?’ I said’ 100% he won’t kill you,’” Benet added.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has also supported distrust in Putin’s pledge.
According to his interview, Bennett said that he contacted President Joe Biden, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan before becoming a negotiation link between Putin and Zelensky.
He claimed that everything was fully coordinated with Biden, President Emmanuel Macron of France, then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain, and Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany, who was said to be worried by the impact of the war on his country’s Russian gas supply.
Regarding the U.S., France and Germany as “Ukraine backers,” Bennett claimed they blocked the ceasefire.