Anatoly Viktorov, Russia’s Ambassador to Israel, warned on Thursday that Moscow will respond “appropriately” if Tel Aviv supplies Kyiv with protective equipment, according to Israeli media agencies.
“We are thoroughly investigating this information and will respond appropriately if it is proven,” Viktorov said on Russian state television.
According to political sources in Tel Aviv quoted in Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, Israeli security and military circles are concerned about Russia’s reactions in Syria, which could affect coordination and cooperation between the two countries and impede Israeli operations in the war-torn country.
Benny Gantz, Israel’s Defense Minister, revealed on Wednesday that Israel will supply Ukraine with helmets and flak jackets.
“Gantz has approved the purchase of protective equipment… which will be given to Ukrainian rescue forces and civilian organisations,” according to a statement from his office.
This happened only days after Russia summoned Israel’s Ambassador to Moscow, Alexander Ben Zvi, to chastise him for supporting Moscow’s suspension from the UN Human Rights Council due to its invasion of Ukraine.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry responded by issuing a statement condemning “Israel’s illegitimate occupation and creeping annexation of Palestinian territory.”