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Israel and Ukraine ‘not the same’ – Borrell

Kiev should not request the same kind of support that the West provided to West Jerusalem during the Iranian attack because the two situations cannot be compared, EU foreign policy head Josep Borrell has said.

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The US, UK and France said they collaborated with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on Saturday to shoot down some of the incoming Iranian missiles and drones. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has since called on Washington and its allies to do the same for Kiev.

Answering a reporter’s question after Tuesday’s meeting of EU foreign ministers, Borrell said the two situations were “different things that cannot be compared.” 

“Iran’s attacks flew over air bases of the armies of France, the US, the UK and Jordan. They have gone over their bases, which then acted in self-defense,” Borrell noted. “There are no air bases of the UK, or the US, much less Jordan of course, on Ukrainian territory or in the territory Russian missiles fly over. Therefore, the same answer cannot be given because the circumstances are not the same.”

READ MORE: Kiev demands Israel-style security guarantees

Israel has also spent a lot of time and money to build the Iron Dome air defense system, which the EU couldn’t build overnight in Ukraine “even if we had money in the box,” the Spanish diplomat said. The bloc is nevertheless trying to provide Kiev with additional air defense capabilities, he added. 

When asked if the EU was involved in defending Israel, Borrell said that the bloc was not directly involved, because it is not a state and does not have an army, but some of its members are.

“From that point of view I can say that the Union, or the member states of the Union that have the capabilities to do it, have done it,” he said. “We have participated, of course, in [passing along] the information that the intelligence services had about how imminent the attack was. We were warned, like so many others.”

This has made it possible to mobilize military capabilities – I insist, not of the Union, but of some of the member states that were available in the area and that have actively participated in eliminating what this attack represented for Israel.

Iran launched scores of drones, ballistic and cruise missiles against Israel on Saturday. According to Tehran, the strike was lawful retaliation for the Israeli airstrike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria earlier this month that killed seven high-ranking officers of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force.

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