Moscow warns Israel that supplying Ukraine with arms will ‘escalate’ conflict

After Netanyahu tells CNN he is considering supplying military aid to Kyiv, Kremlin threatens weapons will be targeted and asserts move will lead to ‘escalation of this crisis’

Feb 1, 2023

MOSCOW — Russia warned Israel on Wednesday against supplying weapons to Ukraine after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was considering military aid for Kyiv and was willing to mediate in the conflict.

“We say that all countries that supply weapons [to Ukraine] should understand that we will consider these [weapons] to be legitimate targets for Russia’s armed forces,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters.

The Kremlin has warned of an escalation in the conflict as Ukraine’s Western partners vow to supply more weapons to Kyiv.

“Any attempts — implemented or even unrealized but announced for the supply of additional, new or some other weapons — will lead to an escalation of this crisis. And everyone should be aware of this,” Zakharova said.

In an interview with CNN aired on Tuesday, Netanyahu said he was “looking into” providing Kyiv with “other kinds of aid” besides humanitarian help, amid concerns over Israel’s “complex relationship” with Russia and its need to retain “freedom of action” in Syria in its effort to “keep Iran in check.”

Washington and Berlin this month said they would supply Kyiv with modern tanks but Ukraine is also asking its backers for fighter jets and long-range artillery.

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