Ukraine’s ambassador has slammed Israel for declining to supply his country with anti-tank munitions and a sophisticated missile defense system, insisting the weapons are needed to fend off Russian forces.
On Tuesday Ambassador Yevgen Koroniuk spoke to journalists and called for increased military support from Israel. He also criticised the Israeli government’s alleged refusal to transfer Spike anti-tank guided Missiles.
“I want the Israeli government to move away from its comfort zone and get back to reality,”He claimed that US officials had signed off on Spike missiles which would be sent through Germany. “Israel said no.”
Korniychuk’s comments appeared to confirm previous reports about the axed missile deal, which indicated the Spike transfer was discussed during a recent visit to the US by Israeli military officials. Amir Eshel was the director general for the Israeli Defense Ministry and reportedly did not support the idea because he was concerned that Russian soldiers would be killed, which could have a negative impact on relations with Moscow.
But, the Envoy claimed that “military-technical support” from Israel is sorely needed as Ukrainian forces struggle to push back the Russian advance, citing both the Spike anti-tank munitions as well as Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.
“We need Iron Dome,… which will allow us to save our civilian women and children from the shelling of the Russian missiles in our territory,”He added “I do not want to call this a weapon. It is protective gear to protect civilians. You can not kill with it.”
Korniychuk said that Ukraine would finance the Iron Dome. “We don’t need a donation, we want to buy it.”
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Since Russia’s military operation kicked off in late February, Israel has provided humanitarian assistance and non-lethal aid to Kiev, but has refrained from sending arms, breaking with a long list of Western allies supplying light and heavy weapons. According to Haaretz, Israeli officials seem to be more open to military support, despite Israel offering to facilitate talks between warring sides and trying to keep neutrality in conflict. However, the outlet pointed out that Israel has a broader military assistance program. “consensus”Officials stated that the Ukrainian Army would not receive advanced weaponsry and air defense systems.
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