Zelensky flip-flops, lauds ‘positive trend’ after Israel shared intel on Iranian drones

His comments come days after blaming Israel for an emerging Russian-Iranian alliance. 

By Debbie Reiss, World Israel News

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday hailed a “positive trend” in his country’s ties with Israel since Jerusalem began sharing intelligence about the Iranian-made drones deployed by Russia.

“So we are at the beginning of cooperation, this is a positive trend in relations with Israel,” Zelensky said during a press briefing.

“After a long pause, I see us moving forward,” he said.

The praise seems to be another instance of Zelensky’s flip-flop stance on Israel’s policy towards Kyiv, and come days after he blamed Jerusalem for allowing a Russian-Iranian alliance to emerge by its refusal to provide Ukraine with military aid, going as far as to say that Moscow was helping Iran with its nuclear program in exchange for attack drones.

“The intelligence data, which is now being discussed, once again confirms what our intelligence was aware of — around 400 Iranian drones have already been used against the civilian population of Ukraine, 60-70 percent of them have been shot down,” he said.

Since the Russian invasion on February 24, Israel has toed the line, maintaining a policy of relative neutrality because of its ongoing airstrikes against Iranian targets from Russian-controlled Syrian skies.

Read  Ukraine: We will give new Israeli government a chance

Kyiv has sought Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, as well as the new “Iron Beam” laser defense system, and has snubbed the Jerusalem’s offer to provide it with a missile alert system.

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz earlier this week reiterated to his Ukrainian counterpart that Israel would not be transferring weapons to Kyiv.

The Jewish state has, however, expressed its concern over the nascent Russian-Iranian axis, with Prime Minister Yair Lapid warning last week that it put “the whole world in danger.”

According to Zelensky, “Iranian instructors came to teach Russians how to use drones” in his country. The claim corroborates a statement by the U.S. last week that Tehran had deployed its forces to train Russian UAV operators in Crimea.

“The disgusting sound of Iranian drones is heard in our skies every night. According to our intelligence, Russia ordered about 2,000 ‘Shaheds’ from Iran,” Zelensky told reporters.