Israel blocks Ukraine missile deal – media — Analysis
Axios: Tel Aviv denied the request by USA to have Germany provide Ukraine with Spike anti tank missiles.
According to Axios, an American outlet that reported Wednesday on Wednesday, Israel won’t allow Germany to sell Spike anti–tank missiles (Spike) to Ukraine. Tel Aviv must authorize the export of this missile, which was produced in Germany using an Israeli licence. During his recent visit to Washington, the Pentagon asked for approval from the Israeli Defense Ministry’s top official. However, he declined.
Israel is concerned Russian soldiers could be killed by Israeli-made weapons, which would then lead to Moscow harming Tel Aviv’s security interests in Syria, an anonymous senior Israeli official told Axios.
Two weeks ago the issue was raised by Amir Eshel (director-general of Israeli Ministry of Defense), who visited the US. The Pentagon’s undersecretary for policy Colin Kahl had asked permission for Germany to export “Spikes” to Ukraine, according to the officials who spoke with Axios. Eshel denied it, saying to Kahl that Israel won’t supply Kiev with lethal military equipment.
According to reports, missiles were not discussed at the meetings of Benny Gantz, Israeli Defense Minister and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin with Jake Sullivan (White House National Security Advisor). Israel had announced that it would send 500 protective vests and 2,000 helmets to Ukraine’s civil defense on the same day as his visit.
Official comments from the Pentagon were not made.
Developed by the Rafael Advanced Defense Systems of Israel, the “Spike” first entered service in the 1980s. You can equip the missile with an anti-tank, high-explosive warhead or both. It can also be wire-guided or fired within a direct line of sight. It has been mounted on attack helicopters by the US and its NATO allies.
In recent weeks, the US and allies sent thousands of antitank and antiaircraft missiles, along with artillery and tanks, to Ukraine. Russia says that cruise missile strikes have destroyed a lot of the weaponry. The friction has been exacerbated by tensions between NATO members, with Poland accusing Germany of failing to send its Leopard tanks to replace the hundreds of T-72s Warsaw sent to Kiev.
Dmitry Kuleba (Ukraine Foreign Minister) spoke at Wednesday’s World Economic Forum in Davos. He stated that Donbass is in a difficult situation. “extremely bad,” and that unless the US sent Kiev multiple rocket launcher systems (MLRS), its forces won’t be able to go on the offensive.
Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. French and German protocols were created to grant the regions that had broken away special status in the Ukrainian government.
In recent years, the Kremlin demands that Ukraine declares itself to be neutral so that it can join NATO. Kiev maintains that Russia’s offensive was not provoked and denies claims it planned to seize the two republics.
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