Naftali Bennett, a former Israeli prime minister, says Russian President Vladimir Putin promised not to kill Zelenskyy.
In the early stages of Russia’s 11-month war with Ukraine, Bennett emerged as an unlikely intermediary, and during a trip to Moscow in March of last year, he became one of the few leaders to meet Putin.
Bennett’s efforts at mediation appear to have had little effect on the current carnage, but his comments in a late-Saturday interview that was broadcast on his YouTube channel shed insight on the underhanded negotiations and hasty efforts that were made to settle the crisis quickly in the beginning.
Bennett says he questioned Putin about whether he wanted to assassinate Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during the five-hour conversation, which covered a wide range of other topics.
“I asked ‘What’s with this? Are you planning to kill Zelenskyy?’ He said ‘I won’t kill Zelenskyy.’ I then said to him ‘I have to understand that you’re giving me your word that you won’t kill Zelenskyy.’ He said ‘I’m not going to kill Zelenskyy.’”
According to Bennett, he then contacted Zelenskyy to inform him of Putin’s pledge.
“’Listen, I came out of a meeting, he’s not going to kill you.’ He asks, ‘Are you sure?’ I said ‘One hundred percent he won’t kill you.’”
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