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Russia warns Israel against supplying Ukraine with defensive gear

Ukrainians and Israelis who support them gather during a protest against Russian attacks on Ukraine, on 26 February 2022, in Tel Aviv, Israel. [Mostafa Alkharouf - Anadolu Agency]
A protest in Tel Aviv against Russian attacks on Ukraine on 26 February 2022 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

Russia's Ambassador to Israel, Anatoly Viktorov, yesterday warned that Moscow will respond "accordingly" if Tel Aviv supplies Kyiv with defensive gear amid his country's invasion of Ukraine, Israeli media outlets reported.

"We are carefully checking this information and will respond accordingly if it is confirmed," Viktorov told Russian state television.

Israel's Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper quoted political sources in Tel Aviv as saying that the Israeli security and military circles fear Russia's reactions in Syria that affect coordination and cooperation between the two countries and impede Israeli operations in the war-torn country.

On Wednesday, Israeli Defence Minister, Benny Gantz, announced that Israel will provide Ukraine with helmets and flak jackets.

"Gantz has approved the purchase of protective equipment… which will be transferred to the Ukrainian rescue forces and civilian organisations," his office said in a statement.

This came days after Russia summoned Israel's Ambassador to Moscow, Alexander Ben Zvi, to reprimand him after Israel supported Moscow's suspension from the UN Human Rights Council over its invasion of Ukraine.

In response, Russia's Foreign Ministry released a statement in which it condemned "Israel's illegal occupation and creeping annexation of Palestinian territories."

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