President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has criticized Israel for its neutrality in the Ukraine war and refusal to give Kyiv weapons, warning that Tel Aviv’s stance has encouraged Russia’s growing military ties and potential nuclear cooperation with Iran.
In a video address at a conference organized by Israel’s Haaretz newspaper on Monday, Zelenskyy reiterated Ukraine’s request for Israel’s anti-missile Iron Dome technology.
He said Ukrainian forces have defeated Russia “in a real confrontation on the battlefield” and forced it “to withdraw its contingents even from other regions that it tried to destabilize.”
“But, unfortunately, we do not have our own ‘Iron Dome.’ We still do not have a modern and effective air defense and missile defense system that could secure our skies,” he said.
Since the war began in February, Israel has limited its support for Ukraine to humanitarian assistance, refusing repeated appeals for advanced weaponry.
Tel Aviv’s latest snub came just hours before Zelenskyy’s address in a phone call between Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov and his Israeli counterpart Benny Gantz.
According to an Israeli Defense Ministry statement, Gantz told Reznikov that Israel cannot supply weapons to Kyiv due to “operational restrictions,” but offered to provide an “early warning system that will save civilian lives.”
Zelenskyy said Israel’s reluctance stems from its decision “not to annoy” Russia.
Without elaborating on how exactly, he said Israel’s stance has enabled Moscow and Tehran to forge a closer military partnership.
The alliance between Russia and Iran “simply would not have happened if your politicians had made only one decision at the time,” he added.
“It seems that it was adopted a long time ago - in 2014, when Russia began its aggression against Ukraine,” said Zelenskyy.
In return for the weapons it is getting from Tehran, Russia will extend “assistance to the Iranian nuclear program,” the Ukrainian president warned.
“Probably, this is exactly the meaning of their alliance,” he said.