The Kremlin has started monitoring the development in West Asia, as Defense Minister of Ukraine Oleksii Reznikov recently visited Israel. Although Kiev has issued a statement, saying that Reznikov met Head of Israel's National Security Council Eyal Khulata mainly to discuss urgent security issues; Moscow has expressed doubt over the actual purpose of the meeting, which has taken place with sparse media coverage at the request of Israel.
Reports suggest that the concerned authorities in Israel requested the visiting Ukrainian minister to be careful with public speeches, and not to give interviews. It seems that Israel does not want to irritate the Kremlin, keeping in mind the ongoing tension between the two former Soviet Republics. However, Russia is worried about Israel-Ukraine rapprochement in a changing geopolitical scenario in Central Asia. Moscow believes that the expansion of NATO will change the security situation in Europe.
Earlier, the Western media reported that Russia was not at all happy with the victory of Volodymyr Zelensky in the Ukrainian Presidential Elections, as it was widely considered as the victory of Democracy in Russia's backyard. And now, Ukraine's close cooperation with Israel has irked Moscow. In recent times, Israel and Turkey have made an attempt to boost defense ties with Ukraine, and Russia is well aware of this fact.
Interestingly, Russia, too, shares cordial ties with Israel, especially in defense sector. However, Moscow wants Jerusalem not to cross the 'red lines' and to strengthen defense ties with Ukraine and Georgia. In order to convince Israel, Russia has restricted military-technical cooperation with Iran, considered as Israel's arch-rival in West Asia. Hence, the Ukrainian minister's visit to Israel has confused Russia, which has decided to keep a tab on the development. Experts are of the opinion that the Kremlin is doing so because of Israel's proximity with the US. Even Ukraine is maintaining close ties with the US.
Sources close to Kiev has hinted that Ukraine is planning to acquire Israeli defense equipment, particularly UAVs and communications outfits, in order to counter Russian aggression. It may be noted that Moscow had blocked a deal between Ukraine and Israeli drone manufacturer Aeronautics in 2014. Since then, Kiev has not officially received any military-technical assistance from Jerusalem. However, the scenario has changed in recent times, and the Israel-Ukraine ties could have a negative impact on Israel's relations with Russia. It may also prompt Russia to boost its cooperation with Iran, again.