Putin warned Israel on Saturday against selling weapons to the pro-Western government in Kiev as retaliation for Moscow’s recently announced weapons deal with Iran.
Speaking to official state media in Russia, Putin said that any such deals between Israel and Ukraine would be “counterproductive” and would “only cause a new round of hostility.”
“The death toll would rise, but the result would not change,” Putin was quoted as telling Rossiya, the official state-run television channel.
Israeli officials were angered by the Kremlin’s decision earlier this week to proceed with the sale of sophisticated S-300 surface-to-air missiles to Iran.
The United States and Israel had lobbied Russia to block the missile sale before it did so in 2010, saying the S-300 system could be used to shield Iran’s nuclear facilities from possible future air strikes.
The sale prompted some officials in Jerusalem to suggest that Israel should retaliate by providing armaments to Ukraine.
“It’s a choice for the Israeli leadership to make, they can do what they see necessary,” Putin said.
Putin appeared to soften his anti-American rhetoric after being highly critical. Relations between Moscow and Washington and other Western powers have soured over the conflict in Russia’s neighbor Ukraine, sinking to an all-time low.
“We have disagreements on several issues on the international agenda. But at the same time there is something that unites us, that forces us to work together,” Putin said.
Read more: http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Putin-warns-Israel-against-selling-arms-to-Ukraine-398497