The Israeli embassy in Kyiv is set to reopen on an ad hoc basis, providing citizen services “two to three times a month” while remaining closed the rest of the time, a Foreign Ministry source told Haaretz on Thursday.
Israel opened its embassy in Kyiv on Tuesday for two days in order to provide consular services for the first time since the start of the war with Russia. The embassy said that more than 80 people received services in the Ukrainian capital in addition to an unspecified additional number who were assisted in the western city of Lviv.
“We opened for a few days and are now going back to Poland,” a ministry source told Haaretz, adding that Israel is “apparently going to stick to this format for the next month or two” and that the embassy “will be back in Kyiv in the beginning of July.”
“Afterwards,” the source said, it “depends on the situation.”
Last month, Ambassador Michael Brodsky tweeted a photo of himself raising the Israeli flag outside the embassy building on Lesi Ukrainky Boulevard after returning from a fact-finding trip to determine if it is safe to resume normal diplomatic activity in the city.
A Foreign Ministry spokesperson told Haaretz at the time that Brodsky was on a two-day trip to evaluate the situation in the city and see “if they can return to Kyiv permanently.”
The diplomats returned to check on their homes and to see if the embassy has remained “intact”, and will be holding meetings with Ukrainian officials and local embassy staffers who remained behind when the Israeli diplomatic mission left for Poland, Brodsky told Haaretz in May.
He noted that the delegation is looking into the possibility of returning to Kyiv on a permanent basis soon, but added that he could not say exactly how soon, as the decision must be made in coordination with the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem.
The Foreign Ministry announced on February 21 that it would close its Kyiv embassy and move its remaining diplomats in Ukraine to Lviv amid fears of the impending Russian invasion. Several days later the embassy was once again relocated, this time to Poland.
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Despite multiple nations announcing the return of their ambassadors to Kyiv last month in the wake of Russia’s retreat from the city’s suburbs, Israel announced in late April that it did not, at the time, have any plans for reestablishing its diplomatic mission on Ukrainian soil. A ministry spokesman told Haaretz earlier this year that “the decision to send personnel to either Kyiv or the western city of Lviv “will be made based on the information we will have regarding the safety of our diplomats.”
The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv resumed operations this May, nearly three months after removing its diplomats and suspending work there over Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Asked how it felt to be back in the Ukrainian capital, Ambassador Brodsky replied that “it’s always good to be back in Kyiv. I hope the security situation will enable us to fully reopen the embassy and to get back to normal soon.”
Jonathan Lis and Reuters contributed to this report.