Macron Explains Limited Ability to Designate Ukraine with Israeli-Style Missile Defense System

It took West Jerusalem decades to deploy a comprehensive system to protect its skies from all kinds of threats, the French president has said

It is impossible for the West to provide Ukraine with a version of Israel’s famed Iron Dome air defense system, because it has neither the time nor the resources to accomplish such a feat, French President Emmanuel Macron has said.

Speaking at a press conference after a European Council meeting in Brussels on Thursday, Macron stressed the urgency of Western countries providing Ukraine with various types of air defense systems.

When asked about the possibility of creating an Israeli-style air defense system for Ukraine, however, the French leader signaled that this was not in the offing. “Israel has been building and financing [its system] for a long time, for decades. It’s impossible to build the same system that would fully meet Ukraine’s needs.”

Another issue, he continued, is the ability to produce the weapons required for Kiev. He explained that the West prefers to assist Ukraine as part of a joint coalition effort in which countries share responsibilities and complement each other.

Israel has for many years heavily relied on its comprehensive Iron Dome air defense system, which is designed to shoot down artillery shells and short-range missiles. The system, first deployed in 2011 and developed with US funding, has been touted as one of the most effective weapons Israel has at its disposal.

Over the weekend, Iran launched its promised retaliation for the Israeli strike on its consulate in Damascus, Syria, using hundreds of drones and long-range missiles, with West Jerusalem claiming that it managed to shoot down 99% of incoming targets, with help from the US, UK and France. The barrage caught the eye of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, who suggested that Western countries could offer the same kind of protection to Kiev, which is reeling under recurring Russian strikes.

The possibility, however, was rejected by EU top diplomat Josep Borrell, who claimed that the situations in Israel and Ukraine were not comparable.

“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 explained. “There are no air bases of the UK, or the US, much less Jordan of course, on Ukrainian territory… Therefore, the same answer cannot be given because the circumstances are not the same.”