Russia slams Macron comments on Ukraine arms deliveries and warns Israel

AFP , Wednesday 1 Feb 2023

Russia on Wednesday criticised comments by French President Emmanuel Macron, who refused this week to rule out delivering fighter jets to Ukraine, while warning Tel Aviv against supplying arms to Kyiv.

A Thales Ground Master 200 (GM200) radar is displayed during a visit at Thales radar factory by Fren
A Thales Ground Master 200 (GM200) radar is displayed during a visit at Thales radar factory by French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu and Ukrainian Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov, in Limours, south west of Paris, France, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023. AFP


"Forgive me but this is absurd," foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters during a press briefing.

"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.

The Russian diplomat also warned Israel against supplying weapons to Ukraine after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was considering military aid for Kyiv and was 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," he told reporters.
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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