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Russia warns Israel over Ukraine missiles

West Jerusalem’s potential transfer of Patriots could backfire, Moscow’s ambassador to the UN has said

Israel must be ready to face certain consequences, should it move forward with the alleged plan to supply Kiev with US-made air defense systems, Russia’s permanent representative to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, has warned.

The US, Israel and Ukraine are in discussions to deliver up to eight old Israeli Patriot air-defense systems to Kiev, the Financial Times reported last week, citing people familiar with the negotiations. Such a development could affect relations between Israel and Russia, Nebenzya warned on Monday, as Moscow assumed the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council.

“I believe that this could of course have certain political consequences,” the Russian diplomat said.

“The weapons, whoever they are sent by… to Ukraine, will eventually be destroyed, just like other Western and US weapons. That is obvious,” he added.

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FILE PHOTO: US and Israeli army officers stand in front a US Patriot missile defence system.
US in talks to send Israeli air-defense systems to Ukraine – FT

Back in April, Israel announced plans to retire its M901 PAC-2 batteries, which are more than 30 years old, and replace them with more advanced air-defense systems. However, they have not been put out of service yet due to concerns that growing tensions with Lebanese armed movement Hezbollah could escalate into an all-out war.

The latest FT report claimed that the deal, which has yet to be finalized, could see the Israeli Patriots first sent from to the US, before being supplied to Ukraine, which is experiencing a shortage of air defenses.

Throughout the conflict between Moscow and Kiev, Israel has only provided humanitarian aid to Ukraine, refraining from sending any weapons. A year ago, the country rejected a demand by Vladimir Zelensky for Israeli Iron Dome air-defense systems.

Russia has warned repeatedly that foreign weapons being sent to Kiev will not prevent Moscow from achieving its military goals, and will merely prolong the fighting and increase the risk of a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO.

July 02, 2024 at 07:42AM

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