Netanyahu Cancels Ukrainian PM's Visit to Israel Over Security Council Vote

The decision was made in light of Ukraine's vote in favor of a resolution condemning Israeli settlements, senior official says.

Ukrainian Parliament Speaker Volodymyr Groysman addresses deputies at the parliament in Kiev, Ukraine before being voted in as the new prime minister on April 14, 2016.
Ukrainian Parliament Speaker Volodymyr Groysman addresses deputies at the parliament in Kiev, Ukraine before being voted in as the new prime minister on April 14, 2016. Valyntyn Ogirenko, Reuters

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to cancel a visit by Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, who was scheduled to arrive in Israel in the coming week. A senior official in Jerusalem noted that the decision was taken in light of Ukraine's vote in favor of Friday's United Nations Security Council resolution critical of Israel's settlement policy.

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Groysman was voted in as Ukraine's first Jewish prime minister in April of 2016 and has family in the Israeli city of Ashdod. Before being elected as prime minister, Groysman served as mayor of Vinnytsia, where he was known for being active in the Jewish community and fostering his connections abroad, particularly in Israel, to bring benefits and projects to the city. 

Netanyahu addressed the UN resolution on Saturday evening, saying that the Obama administration had carried out an "underhanded and an anti-Israel maneuver" at the Security Council. The prime minister call the resolution "crazy" and vowed to cut funding to UN institutions, while reviewing Israel's relations with the international organization.

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On Friday, the prime minister's bureau announced that Israel's ambassadors to New Zealand and Senagal, two of the countries that pushed for the vote on the UN resolution, had been recalled and that sanctions would be put in place against both countries as well. 

"The Obama administration not only failed to protect Israel against this gang-up at the UN, it colluded with it behind the scenes," his bureau said.