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17 Apr, 2024 12:00

Kiev demands Israel-style security guarantees

The US must defend Ukraine like it did Israel last weekend, a spokesman for President Vladimir Zelensky has said
Kiev demands Israel-style security guarantees

Kiev wants security guarantees from its Western backers similar to the level of protection that the US provides Israel, President Vladimir Zelensky’s chief of staff, Andrey Yermak, said on Wednesday.

The Ukrainian government is negotiating a series of treaties intended to seal the country’s pro-Western alignment until it is granted full NATO membership. Officials in Kiev say the deals will secure long-term military assistance from the US and its allies, regardless of political changes that might otherwise prompt donors to cut the aid. 

“An agreement between the US and Ukraine must work no worse than the American memorandum with Israel, the effectiveness of which was confirmed by joint actions of the allies during the deflection of the mass attack on Israel by Iran,” Yermak wrote on social media.

Tehran launched a barrage of drones and missiles at Israel last weekend in retaliation for the April 1 airstrike on its consulate in Damascus, which it blamed on the Jewish state.

The long-anticipated move resulted in only “minor damage,” according to Israel, as the US, UK and France used their military assets to help stop most of the Iranian projectiles

The interceptions cost Israel $550 million, according to local defense experts.

Western officials have made it clear that Kiev should not expect the kind of intervention that Israel enjoyed last week.

“Putting NATO forces directly in conflict with Russian forces – I think that would be a dangerous escalation,” British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said on Monday. Instead of “Western planes over [its] skies trying to shoot things down,” Ukraine requires air defense systems, he explained.

Kiev has been urging the US for months to move forward with the appropriation of over $60 billion in aid, which is being blocked by House Speaker Mike Johnson. The discussions that Yermak participated in covered “the action plan right after the US Congress takes a decision on military aid for Ukraine,” he said.

Some US media have speculated that Johnson may yield to pro-Kiev pressure and submit the Senate-approved bill to a vote following the Iranian attack. The bill includes funds for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.

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