Russia took aim at Israel on Wednesday, warning it against getting involved in the war in Ukraine by providing arms to Kyiv, claiming such a move would “enhance the crisis.”
“We say that all countries supplying arms should understand that we consider these to be legitimate targets for Russia’s armed forces,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said, according to a report in The Times of Israel.
“Any attempt – implemented or even unconscionable but announced to supply additional, new or some other weapons – will lead and escalate this crisis,” she said. “And everyone should know about it.”
Israel rejects US request for Hawk missiles to aid Ukraine
Zakharova’s comments come a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was considering supplying Ukraine with more than humanitarian aid – a move that would reverse Israel’s previous position on the war.
Netanyahu told CNN on Tuesday that he is “looking into” providing “other types of assistance” to Ukraine in addition to humanitarian aid.
Israel has not made any hard commitments to Ukraine when it comes to large-scale defensive aid due to its complicated relationship with Russia, although Moscow’s growing relationship with Iran – which has prompted Russia to use drones for its war effort in Ukraine. Provided – can inspire Jerusalem to change. Its tune.
Netanyahu’s comments contrasted with a statement last week by a spokesman for Israel’s Defense Ministry, who told Fox News that Israel’s “policy on the security echelon has not changed.”
The spokesperson’s statement came after reports that Israel had rejected a US request to send Hawk missiles to Ukraine.
“Each request is examined on its merits. Beyond that, we do not divulge additional details,” the spokesperson said.
US transfers military weapons stockpile from Israel to Ukraine
But the Netanyahu administration is determined to counter Iranian threats and Russia’s growing partnership with the Persian nation could mean Israel may finally decide to take back Ukraine with arms.
Netanyahu also said that he would not mind serving as a mediator if both the US as well as Russia and Ukraine asked him to fill that role.
Russia’s Wednesday warning was not only directed at Israel.
France also faced some finger-pointing after Zakharova denounced French President Emmanuel Macron’s comments this week when she said sending warplanes to Ukraine was not off the table.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov accused NATO’s “entire military infrastructure” of “working against Russia” on Wednesday.
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“We see that the entire NATO intelligence infrastructure, including reconnaissance aviation and satellite groups, are working in 24/7 mode in the interests of Ukraine,” he claimed, according to Russian media outlet Tass.
Peskov said that dynamic creates a “very strange” and “hostile” environment for Russia.
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