Kremlin warns Israel over claims it may supply Ukraine with Iron Dome tech

Jerusalem is reportedly considering military aid for Kyiv, after months of rejecting President Zelensky’s requests 


Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting on the restoration of residential infrastructure in the border areas destroyed during emergency situations, via a video conference at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence, outside Moscow, on February 1, 2023. (Photo by Mikhail KLIMENTYEV / SPUTNIK / AFP) (Photo by MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images)

Russia has accused Israel of threatening to “escalate" conflict in Ukraine after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was “looking to” supply the invaded country with air defence systems.

“We say that all countries that supply weapons [to Ukraine] should understand that we will consider these [weapons] to be legitimate targets for Russia’s armed forces,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told media on Wednesday.

“Any attempts — implemented or even unrealised but announced for the supply of additional, new, or some other weapons — will lead to an escalation of this crisis. And everyone should be aware of this,” she continued.

It comes after the Likud leader told US news channel CNN on Wednesday that Israel was considering shipping air defence systems to Ukraine, including the powerful Iron Dome system that is around 90 per cent effective in intercepting rockets routinely fired into the Jewish State by terrorist groups. 

"Well, I'm certainly looking into it," Mr Netanyahu explained when quizzed over whether Jerusalem could supply Ukraine with air defence capabilities.

The Likud leader also said he could be open to mediating future peace talks between Ukraine and Russia, saying: “If I’m asked by both sides, and frankly, if I’m asked by the United States — because I think, you know, you can’t have too many cooks in the kitchen … and you know, we have our own backyard to deal with.” 

He also confirmed the New York Times reports that US forces had transferred artillery ammunition stockpiles from Israeli territory to Ukraine. "The United States took a significant part of Israeli ammunition and sent it to Ukraine," he told the American broadcaster.

Mr Netanyahu stressed that his government has been aiding Ukraine’s efforts by targeting Iranian weapons manufacturing, stating: "I will not go into details, but Israel is acting in a certain way against Iran's production of weapons that are used against Ukraine.” 

Iranian-produced Shahed-136 drones have been responsible for a wave of Russian attacks on Ukraine in recent months.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has repeatedly criticised Israel for not supplying arms to his country since Russia’s March 2022 invasion. 

In October 2022 the Ukrainian leader, who is Jewish, accused Israel of “neutrality” over the Russian invasion of Ukraine and warned that the corresponding tightening of Iran-Russia ties could increase the risk of the Islamic Republic gaining nuclear weapons. 

The same month Dr Uzi Rubin, who served as head of the Jewish state’s Missile Defence Organisation, told the JC that Jerusalem remained “concerned” about the Iron Dome technology ending up in Russian or Iranian hands.

Israel’s reluctance to be seen as hostile to Russia is thought to be related to its arrangement with the latter in neighbouring Syria, where Moscow allows the IDF to operate freely against Iranian-backed elements.


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