Putin promises not to kill Zelensky – Israeli mediator claims
The former Israeli prime minister, who was a mediator in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, has claimed that Vladimir Putin promised not to kill his Ukrainian counterpart.
Naftali Bennett served as an intermediary during the initial weeks of conflict and was one of few leaders allied with the West to meet Putin on a trip to Moscow in March last year.
Unfortunately, Bennett’s mediation efforts proved futile, and the war continues.
Details of his meeting have now been revealed in a marathon five-hour-long interview posted online.
‘I asked, ”what’s with this? Are you planning to kill (Ukrainian President Volodymyr) Zelensky?” Bennet told interviewers. ‘Putin 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.”’
Having completed the call with Putin, Bennett said he then rang Ukraine’s presidential office to tell Zelensky of his Russian foe’s promise.
‘Listen, I came out of a meeting, he’s not going to kill you,’ Bennett said.
‘He asks, ”are you sure?” I said, ”100 percent, he won’t kill you”.’
Bennett also claimed that during his mediation, Putin dropped his vow to seek Ukraine’s disarmament and Zelensky promised not to join NATO.
There was no immediate response from the Kremlin, which has previously denied Ukrainian claims that Russia intended to assassinate Zelensky.
Reacting to Bennett’s comments, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Twitter that Putin was not to be trusted.
‘Do not be fooled: He is an expert liar. Every time he has promised not to do something, it has been exactly part of his plan,’ Kuleba declared.