Ukraine’s foreign minister said Tuesday Kyiv will send an official note to Israel requesting immediate air defense supplies and co-operation in the sector especially Ukraine requested several batteries of Iron Dome anti-air missiles.
Also on Tuesday, Ukraine’s foreign minister said he was submitting a proposal to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for Kyiv to cut diplomatic ties with Tehran for supplying weapons to Russia. Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told a news conference that Tehran bore full responsibility for destruction in Ukraine.
The discussion over air supplies comes amid internal wrangling in Israel over deepening its cooperation with Ukraine after the Russian invasion.
On Monday, Israel rejected a request from Ukraine to hold a telephone conversation between Defense Minister Benny Gantz and his counterpart in Kyiv, Oleksii Reznikov, reported Times of Israel. Ukrainian officials said Israel canceled arrangements for a call it had initiated a few days ago.
Russia accused Israel Monday morning of planning to supply weapons to Ukraine and warned that such a move would harm ties between Jerusalem and Moscow. The coordination efforts between Jerusalem and Kyiv began weeks ago.
Members of Gantz’s inner circle said they are important to the defense minister and that he intends to speak with Reznikov within days. Officials in Ukraine expressed hope that the planned conversation will address the possibility of military cooperation.
Gantz and Reznikov last spoke in April. A Ukrainian source told Global Defense Corp another conversation was initially scheduled for August 24, Ukraine’s Independence Day, and has since been postponed five times. The source stressed that the call scheduled for Monday was initiated by Israel, which canceled hours before the appointed time. Israeli officials rejected the claim.
Last month, Zelensky said that Israel had given his country “nothing” to help it defend itself, indicating that its leaders had been disingenuous in rejecting his requests for air defense systems.
“Israel gave us nothing. Nothing, zero,” Zelensky told France’s TV5Monde. “I understand they are in a difficult situation with Syria, with Russia.”
“I understand they need to defend their land, but then I got information from my intelligence services that Israel provides [the air defenses] in other countries. They can sell, they can export, which is why I am shocked,” he said.
Israel’s refusal is seen as an attempt by Jerusalem to maintain working ties with Moscow, due to Russia’s control of Syrian air space, where Israel’s air force has carried out hundreds of sorties against alleged Iranian arms shipments and in order to keep groups backed by Tehran from establishing a foothold.
Additionally, Israel has sent over 100 tons of humanitarian aid and set up a field hospital in western Ukraine for six weeks at the start of the war.
It also shipped 2,000 helmets and 500 flak jackets that the Defense Ministry said would be given to Ukrainian rescue forces and civilian organizations.
© 2022, GDC. © GDC and www.globaldefensecorp.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to www.globaldefensecorp.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.