Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asked Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to mediate peace negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, the Ukrainian ambassador to Israel told CNN on Saturday.
After weeks of warnings from Western leaders, Russian President Vladimir Putin unleashed a three-pronged invasion of Ukraine from the north, east and south before dawn on Thursday, in the biggest attack on a European state since World War Two.
"Our president believes that Israel is the only democratic state that has good relations with both Russia and Ukraine, and can be used to help," said Ambassador Yevgeny Kornichuk.
He added that it is better to hold the talks in Jerusalem rather than Minsk - the capital of Belarus - is considered to be a close ally of Russia.
He said that Israel is considering the proposal, but has not yet responded. "They did not agree or reject [the request], they are considering it and that is a positive sign."
An Israeli source who spoke to the New York Times confirmed that a request had indeed been received from Ukraine.
The remarks came a day after Israel's public broadcaster Kan said Zelensky asked for Israel to mediate ceasefire talks with Russia in Jerusalem. The report, which Kan said was neither confirmed nor denied by Bennett's office, cited unnamed Israeli and Ukrainian sources.
According to the report, Bennett's cabinet has opposed the idea of mediating the talks due to a potential conflict of interests with Russia.
While calling for a peaceful solution in Ukraine, Israel has been cautious about openly criticizing Russia, a major player in the conflict in neighboring Syria. It has offered shelter to members of Ukraine's Jewish community caught up in the fighting.
Israel, whose main ally is the United States, condemned the Russian invasion on Thursday as "a serious violation of international order" and has since remained largely muted on Moscow's actions.
Reuters contributed to this report