Jerusalem: Israel suspended participation in a deal on the transfer of Iron Dome missile defense system to Kiev signed between the United States and Ukraine fearing damaging bilateral relations with Russia amid tensions on the Ukrainian border, Israeli Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported on Tuesday.
Iron Dome is a joint Israeli-US venture that cannot be sold to a third party without the consent of both developer countries. In spring 2021, the Ukrainian government officially appealed to the Biden administration requesting to transfer Patriot missiles and the Iron Dome missile defense system to Ukraine.
According to the newspaper, since last summer Israel has taken a series of steps trying to prevent the deal and managed to remove the issue of Iron Dome transfer to Kiev from the agenda.
Last year, media reported that the US Congress included an amendment to the 2022 defense bill that makes the sale or transfer of the Iron Dome system to Ukraine possible.
In the past few months, Western countries and Ukraine have accused Russia of deploying additional troops along the Ukrainian border in alleged preparation for invasion. Moscow has repeatedly denied these allegations by saying that it has no intention of invading Ukraine while stressing that it has the right to move its troops within its national territory.
Russia has also expressed concerns over NATO military activity near its borders and ongoing military support to Ukraine, including an increase in the number of Western military advisers in the breakaway Donbas region and increased arms deliveries to Kiev.