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Russia Warns Israel Against Supplying Arms to Ukraine

Russia's foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova. Russian Foreign Ministry

Releads with Russia's warning to Israel.

Russia on Wednesday warned Israel against supplying weapons to Ukraine after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was considering military aid for Kyiv and was also 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," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova told reporters.

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February last year, Israel has adopted a cautious position towards Moscow, seeking to maintain neutrality. 

Israel has particularly emphasized the special ties between the two nations, as Israel has more than a million citizens from the former Soviet Union.

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

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

Zakharova also criticized comments by French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday after he refused this week to rule out delivering fighter jets to Ukraine, while warning against the risk of escalation.

"Forgive me but this is absurd," Zakharova told reporters on Wednesday.

"Is the president of France really certain that if arms, heavy weapons and aircraft are supplied to the Kyiv regime to conduct combat operations, this will not lead to an escalation of the situation?" she said.

"I refuse to believe that an adult person is guided by this kind of logic."

"Such statements only increase the already irrepressible appetite of the Zelensky regime," she said, referring to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Macron said Monday he would not rule out the delivery of fighter jets to Ukraine, telling Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in the Netherlands that, "Nothing is excluded in principle."

But he also said that any arms would "not be escalatory" and should only be "to aid the resistance effort" rather than targeting Russia itself.

Ukraine is expecting to receive up to 140 modern tanks from its Western allies, and Zelensky is now urging the West to send fighter jets and long-range missiles.

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