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Israel seems to be reassessing its position on the sale of locally made UASs to the Ukraine, this after the Kremlin announcement that it would lift the ban on the sale of S-300 missiles to Iran.
An Israeli source described this sale as “a spit in the face of the US and Israel.” The source told I-HLS that the sale of UASs to the Ukraine was stalled for six years, due to a specific request on the part of the Russians. The understanding was that Russia would not sell the Iranians its S-300s and in exchange Israel would not sell its locally made UASs (unmanned aerial systems) to the Ukraine. Now, however, this unwritten agreement seems to be off.
The Ukraine’s requirement for some types of Israeli made UASs is directly linked to the intensifying conflict it has with Russia. Negotiations between the Ukraine and some Israeli manufacturers had begun, and had reached a very advanced stage with at least one manufacturer. The sale was also approved by the division in the Ministry of Defense that needs to confirm it, but when the time came to issue the export license the Foreign Ministry asked that the sale be halted.
The i-HLS source said that Israel should now reject any request on the part of Moscow to block weapons sales to countries like the Ukraine.
The Russians themselves had purchased Israeli made UAVs a while back. This was after having had a chance to examine an Israeli manufactured UAV that a Russian jet fighter had shot down during the conflict with Georgia. Russia did not have in its possession at the time any advanced UAVs.