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US putting pressure on Israel over its 'neutrality' towards Russia

April 13, 2014, 14:49 UTC+3 TEL AVIV

One of the reasons for the anger in the White House was Israel's absence from the UN General Assembly vote on a resolution expressing support for the territorial integrity of Ukraine

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TEL AVIV, April 13, 14:43 /ITAR-TASS/. White House and the U.S. Department of State are highly angered by Israel's 'neutrality' regarding Crimea's reunification with Russia and other events around Ukraine, the Haaretz daily said in an article published Sunday.

“Senior figures in the Obama administration have expressed great disappointment with the lack of support from Israel for the American position on the Ukraine crisis and with the fact that the Israeli government puts its relations with the United States and with Russia on the same plane,” it said.

“One senior U.S. official noted that one of the reasons for the anger in the White House was Israel's absence from the UN General Assembly vote about two weeks ago on a resolution censuring the Russian invasion and expressing support for the territorial integrity of Ukraine,” the report said.

It indicated that recent public remarks by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman “in which they maintained their "neutrality" and failed to back up the United States” added more fuel to Washington’s rancor.

"We have good and trusting relations with the Americans and the Russians, and our experience has been very positive with both sides,” Lieberman told Israel's Channel 9 television when asked about the Ukraine crisis. “So I don't understand the idea that Israel has to get mired in this."

The head of the Defense Ministry's political-security department, Major-General (Res.) Amos Gilad said in a comment on Washington’s reaction that Israel's policy on the matter was driven by its own security interests, which should not be confused with that of the U.S.

"The U.S. is involved in its own way, but our (Israeli) security interests should not be defined as identical to that of any one else, even the U.S.," he added.

"Israel is watching the conflict in Ukraine and recording the events, and focusing on the issue of national security which will influence not only our present, but our future as well," Haaretz quoted Gen Gilad’s interview with Israeli Army Radio.

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