Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday night he would act as a mediator in the war between Ukraine and Russia.
Netanyahu said in an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper he would need to be asked by both warring countries to mediate, as well as the United States.
"If I'm asked by both sides, frankly, if I'm asked by the United States because I think, you know, you can't have too many cooks in the kitchen," Netanyahu said. "… I think this is of monumental importance, because I think the peace of the world is at stake. As I think the peace of the world is at stake with Iran getting nuclear weapons. It will destabilize the entire world.
"... If asked by all relevant parties, I will certainly consider it. But I'm not pushing myself in. I've been around long enough to know that there has to be a right time and the right circumstances. If they arise, I will certainly consider it."
Netanyahu said early in the conflict, he was asked to act as a mediator, but because he wasn't prime minister, he did not accept. "I have a rule: One prime minister at a time," he said.
In March, Netanyahu's predecessor, Neftali Bennett, was asked to mediate. Bennett traveled to Moscow to talk with Russian President Vladimir Putin and had phone conversations with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. But his efforts were unsuccessful.
Israel has condemned Russia's invasion into Ukraine, which is nearing its one-year anniversary on Feb. 24, and has provided humanitarian aid to Ukraine but has balked at sending military assistance.
"I'm certainly looking into it," Netanyahu said regarding military aid, adding the U.S. sent a large amount of munitions intended for Israel to Ukraine. He said Israel is also acting to thwart the production of Iranian weapons that can be sent to Russia to use against Ukraine.
Netanyahu said Israel also needs cooperation from Russia with its air force's efforts to attack Iranian targets in Syria. Russia has been supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's militarily during his country's more than decade-old civil war.
"Israel needs to have freedom of air, freedom of action in the air," he said. "And that freedom of action could meet — could have us confronting Russian pilots. I prefer that not to happen. And I was very open with Putin about that."
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