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Zelensky: ‘Ukraine will acquire missile, drone interception system’

February 18, 2023 at 11:46 am

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Brussels, Belgium on February 09, 2023. [Dursun Aydemir – Anadolu Agency]

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced during the Munich Security Conference on Friday that Ukraine’s acquisition of an Israeli missile interception system to use against Russia “is only a matter of time”. He added that his country needs to acquire the David’s Sling air defence system from Israel to use against the Russian Goliath.

The David’s Sling system is a system for intercepting medium-range missiles and drones. Ukraine has requested to obtain missile interception systems several times since the start of the war with Russia, but Israel has so far refused.

During his speech, Zelensky attacked Iran for providing aid to Russia and said Iran would use the experience of using drones in Ukraine to improve its performance and use it in the Middle East.

Israeli Security Minister Yoav Gallant spoke at the Munich Security Conference and said that Iran is in talks with 50 countries regarding selling drones and missiles, according to quotes by the Israeli media.

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Gallant disclosed that the regime in Tehran provides drones with a range of 1,000 kilometres through Eastern European countries, such as Belarus, and has done so in the past in South America and sold to Venezuela.

He said that all of this was happening while the arms embargo on Iran was still in effect, but the embargo will expire at the end of the year, adding that the international community must develop an alternative to the international arms embargo. Under and above ground, Iran continuously seeks to eliminate the State of Israel. Iran is threatening not only Israel but also the security and stability of Europe and the world in general.

Gallant called on the international community to take joint action to: “Create an effective alternative to the dying embargo – a practical mechanism of deterrence and consequences. When we speak of preventing Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon, we must keep all the possible means – I repeat, all possible means – on the table.”

Israeli media reported that Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen agreed with Zelensky during their meeting in Kyiv on cooperation between Israel and Ukraine and initiating new sanctions against Iran in international organisations.

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According to Israeli media, Zelensky told Cohen that it is important for Israel and Ukraine to cooperate on the Iranian issue and that Ukraine could help Israel in this. Zelensky pointed out that Ukraine has great experience in intercepting Iranian drones.

After he visited Ukraine, Cohen indicated: ” We talked about deepening cooperation with Ukraine in the face of the Iranian threat in the international arena.” The Iranian issue was at the top of the agenda of Cohen’s visit. He believes it is very important to mobilise Ukraine against Iran, and Zelensky claimed that the two countries have a “common enemy” in Iran. Cohen provided Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba with: “Ideas on how to counter the threat of Iranian drones” that Russia is using in the war with Ukraine.

Zelensky and Kuleba urged Israel to provide defensive military means to Ukraine. Cohen did not refuse this, but told Zelensky: “Israel is in a complex situation; it is neither Portugal nor Canada. We have a common border with Russia [in Syria], and we have the Iranian threat,” referring to the Israeli attacks against Iranian targets in Syria.

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