Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitryo Kuleba discussed Iran and Russia’s cooperation in Moscow’s war against Ukraine, in a phone call on Thursday.
“Prime Minister Lapid emphasized the deep concern and the military ties between Iran and Russia,” his office stated.
Lapid also “emphasized Israel stands with the Ukrainian people.”
Iran sold drones to Russia, which have been used against Ukraine, and reportedly sold missiles to Moscow.
The conversation between the ministers took place a day after Kuleba sent an official request to Jerusalem for missile defense systems, which Defense Minister Benny Gantz publicly turned down.
Lapid's interview with RTVI
Earlier, in an interview with independent Russian-language news channel RTVI, Lapid said, “The relations between Iran and Russia are a serious problem not only for Israel but for Ukraine, Europe and the rest of the world. The fact that Russia is using Iranian UAVs to kill Ukrainian civilians is unacceptable.”
In an apparent explanation of why his government has declined to provide military aid to Ukraine, Lapid said, “Israel’s foreign relations are complicated. I have the responsibility to protect national security and take care of our interests, while making clear that we support Ukraine.”
“The fact that Russia is using Iranian UAVs to kill Ukrainian civilians is unacceptable.”Prime Minister Yair Lapid
Israel has provided humanitarian aid to Ukraine, but not the military aid it has repeatedly requested, in part to maintain the deconfliction mechanism between Israel and Russia, which allows Israel to attack Iranian targets in Syria. The policy also stems from a concern for the well-being of Russian Jewry.
Gantz said on Wednesday, “Israel will not deliver weapon systems to Ukraine due to a variety of operational considerations. We will continue to support Ukraine within our limitations as we have done in the past.”
The defense minister also expressed concern that “Iran provides UAVs and in the near future may also provide additional advanced systems.”