Russia warns Israel against arming Ukraine - The Jewish Voice
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Sunday, March 26, 2023

Russia warns Israel against arming Ukraine

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Shortly after an English-language interview on CNN in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel is weighing supplying weapons to Ukraine, Russian officials have warned Jerusalem against the potential move.

Netanyahu said that Israel was acting “against Iran’s weapons productions which are used against Ukraine,” and acknowledged that “the U.S. just took a huge chunk of Israel’s munitions and passed it on to Ukraine.”

He added that he would “certainly consider” acting in a mediator role between Moscow and Kyiv, should the opportunity arise.

“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,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters in a media conference on Wednesday.

Since the outbreak of war, Israel has largely avoided taking sides in the conflict ⁠— much to the chagrin of Kyiv.

Ukrainian officials have repeatedly pressured Israel to provide it with weapons, rejecting offers for protective technology that would help protect civilian lives, including an air raid warning system.

Israel provided Ukraine with a multi-million dollar field hospital, which largely treated Ukrainian civilians. Ukrainian officials have vocally complained that they are not interested in defensive or humanitarian relief ⁠— rather, they want military equipment which would clearly demonstrate that Israel is taking their side in the conflict.

Ukraine’s increasing demands for Israeli material support and diplomatic pressure have strained relations at times between Kyiv and Jerusalem.

Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky offended numerous members of the Israeli Knesset when he compared the conflict to the Holocaust, and Ukraine’s numerous anti-Israel votes in the UN in recent months have also sparked the ire of Israeli officials.

Russia has de facto control over Syrian airspace, and has allowed the Israeli air force to carry out numerous airstrikes against Iranian assets in the country.

It’s unclear why Netanyahu suggested that Israel is reevaluating its year-long policy around maintaining neutrality in the conflict.

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