Washington and Jerusalem are trying to strengthen Kyiv’s diplomatic position in negotiations with Moscow.

The United States is ready to take additional diplomatic steps that the Ukrainian government deems useful, a Department of State spokesman said on March 12, after President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said that the West should actively participate in negotiations to end the war.

“If there are diplomatic steps that we can take that, in the opinion of the Ukrainian government, would be useful, we are ready to take them,” the spokesman said. “We are working to ensure that Ukraine has the strongest possible position in the negotiations, including by increasing pressure on Russia and providing military assistance to Ukrainians to protect their country.”

On March 12, Ukraine also expressed hope for positive results of Israel’s attempts to contribute to the peace process, refuting a report by the Israeli newspaper Walla news, the Jerusalem Post newspaper and the American news site Axios that Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett allegedly tried to push Kyiv to make concessions to Moscow.

Bennett held a three-hour meeting in the Kremlin with Vladimir Putin on March 5. Since then, he has spoken with Putin twice by phone and four times with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, officials say.

“I think Bennett can play an important role because Israel is a country with a long history and parallels (with our situation), as well as with a large number of immigrants from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus,” Zelenskiy said at a briefing.