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Israel and Ukraine

Total commitments

Military commitments

Humanitarian commitments

Financial commitments

Photo from Zelenskyy TG, photo in Kyiv, Text of From Ukrainian Foreign Ministry

RELATIONS

Bilateral relations between Ukraine and the State of Israel

1. Date of recognition of Ukraine: December 25, 1991.

2. Establishment of diplomatic relations: December 26, 1991.

3. Political dialogue:

20-21.12.2019 – official visit of the President of Ukraine to Israel.

18-19.12.2019 – working visit of the Prime Minister of Israel B.Netanyahu to Ukraine.

22-24.12.2020 – working visit of the President of Ukraine V.Zelenskyy to the State of Israel to honor the memory of the Holocaust victims.

06.10.2021 – official visit of the President of Israel I.Herzog to Ukraine.

In 2022, there were 16 phone conversations between the President of Ukraine and the Prime Ministers of Israel.

Contacts at the level of the foreign offices:

18-19.06.2018 – visit of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine to Israel.

16.02.2023 – official visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Israel E.Cohen to Ukraine.

Interparliamentary cooperation:

After the snap elections to the Knesset, a parliamentary group on cooperation between Ukraine and Israel was formed, co-chaired by Z.Elkin and Y.Edelstein. The corresponding group in the Verkhovna Rada of the 9th convocation is co-chaired by D.Hetmantsyev, and O.Kunitskyi.

20-21.2023 – the co-chairs of the Israel-Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Group of the Knesset Y.Edelshtein and Z.Elkin visited Ukraine.

1-2.05.2023, a delegation of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine led by Deputy Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada O.Kondratyuk paid a working visit to Israel.

High-level bilateral bodies:

– The Intergovernmental Joint Ukrainian-Israeli Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation (the 12th session took place in Jerusalem on October 30, 2021).

– The Joint Ukrainian-Israeli Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation.

– The Intergovernmental Ukrainian-Israeli Commission on Visa, Travel, and Consular Matters (the 5th session took place in Jerusalem on October 29, 2021). 

4. Trade and economic cooperation:

Israel is one of Ukraine’s major trading partners in the Middle East. In 2020, the volume of bilateral trade in goods and services amounted to 907.3 million USD and decreased by 18.9% in comparison to 2019 (1.1 billion USD). At the same time, exports amounted to 710.2 million USD and decreased by 17.1% (in 2019 – 856 million USD), and imports amounted to 197.1 million USD and decreased by 24.3% (in 2019 – 260.3 million USD). The positive balance of Ukraine’s foreign trade in goods and services with Israel in 2020 amounted to 513.1 million USD (in 2019 – 595.7 million USD).

Main export product groups: grain (40% of total exports); ferrous metals (18%); residues and waste from the food industry (6.6%); alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and vinegar (3.6%); fats and oils of animal or vegetable origin (3.4%); seeds and fruits of oilseeds (3.3%).

Structure of imports from Israel: chemical products (38% of total imports); mineral fuels, oil and products of its distillation (12.8%); plastics, polymeric materials (8.7%); pharmaceutical products (4.5%); optical and photographic instruments and apparatus (4.3%); electric machines (3.6%); edible fruits and nuts (3.6%); nuclear reactors, boilers (3.2%).

According to the National Bank of Ukraine, Israeli direct investment in the economy of Ukraine as of 31.12.2020 amounted to 100 million USD, mostly in real estate, information and communications and processing industry.

5. Cultural and humanitarian cooperation:

An important precondition for the development of cultural and humanitarian cooperation between Ukraine and Israel is the presence of half a million large Ukrainian community in Israel, including tens of thousands of ethnic Ukrainians. The vast majority of them arrived in Israel in the 1990s. In turn, there is a hundred-thousand-strong Jewish community in Ukraine.

Many prominent Jewish religious and cultural leaders were born and lived in Ukraine. Today these places attract thousands of pilgrims and tourists from Israel: the graves of Tzaddik Nachman in Uman and Schnauer Zalman in Gadyach, as well as of Rabbi Shapiro in Mukachevo.

Israelis also visit other places related to Jewish history and culture in Ukraine: the house of Bruno Schultz, the prominent artist and writer of the mid-twentieth century, in Drohobych; the house in Rivne, where the mother of the popular Israeli writer Amos Oz lived and which is described in one of his books; the town of Buchach, which is the birthplace of Israeli writer and Nobel Prize-winner Shai Agnon.

The Ukrainian Cultural Center (UCC) in the State of Israel was established on October 30, 2012. The Center plays an important educational and informational role and brings together representatives of different pro-Ukrainian organizations.

The Center regularly hosts various cultural and educational events: concerts, creative meetings, exhibitions, lectures, evenings, and many other events.

Also, for a period of time, UCC served as a volunteer activity center where humanitarian aid for Ukraine was collected. Currently, the Center continues to host charity events and other activities in support of the Ukrainian army, IDPs, and children.

6. Legal basis

The legal framework between Ukraine and Israel consists of 75 documents, including 46 international treaties.

On January 21, 2019, during the official visit of the President of Ukraine to the State of Israel, an Agreement between the Government of the State of Israel and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on Free Trade was signed (came into effect on 01.01.2021).

7. Ukrainian community:

There are approximately 30,000 individuals who identify themselves as Ukrainians in Israel. However, there is no organized Ukrainian diaspora. As of the beginning of 2023, around 14,000 Ukrainian citizens (including over 500 adopted children) are registered at the consular office of the Embassy of Ukraine. There are several grass-roots organizations of Ukrainians in Israel: the All-Israel Association of Ukrainian Immigrants, “Israeli Friends of Ukraine,” “Ukrainians in Israel,” and the Association of Ukrainian Writers in Israel etc.

7. Diplomatic mission of Ukraine:

Embassy of Ukraine in the State of Israel

  • 100 tons of humanitarian aid, including medical supplies, water purification equipment, tents, blankets and warm clothing.[171]
  • A 66-bed field hospital in the western Ukrainian city of Mostyska operated by 60 Israeli medical personnel.[172]
  • Flight and medical treatment in Israel for the wounded, including soldiers.[173]
  • 25,000 ration packs sent to the city of Kharkiv.[174]
  • $200 million in loans for projects to rebuild Ukrainian civil and medical infrastructure.[175]
Anti-drone systems
  • Unspecified anti-drone systems [September 2022] (delivered by an Israeli defence contractor to Ukraine indirectly through Poland, and the United States)[231][232]
  • Missile warning system [May 2023].[233]
Vehicles
  • 7 armored ambulances [Delivered From December 2022 to January 2023][234]
Military gear[235][236]
  • 3,500 helmets [2,000 in April 2022, further 1,500 in June]
  • 2,000 bulletproof vests [500 in April 2022, further 1,500 in June]
  • 1,000 gas masks [June 2022]
  • “hundreds” of mine protection suits [June 2022]
  • “dozens” of hazmat filtration systems [June 2022]
Miscellaneous
  • Intelligence regarding drones used by Russian forces [From November 2022].[237][238]