The Kremlin upbraided Israel’s military attache in Moscow after the IDF launched a test missile over the Mediterranean, Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency reported Monday.
According to the Russian report, Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov summoned the Israeli military attache, Kobi Haviv, and his American counterpart, Brigadier General Peter B. Zwack, on Wednesday and excoriated them for the IDF’s test-launching of a new type of Sparrow target missile the previous day.
The IDF said the successful missile test was meant to gauge Israel’s missile tracking capabilities.
Antonov told the American and Israeli diplomats that “the waters of the Mediterranean Sea are not the most suitable region for testing missile systems for any purpose,” the Defense Ministry in Moscow said in a statement. He called on the Israeli and US military “to show restraint in the conduct of activities in the region that can adversely affect the regional and global security.”
He noted that there was currently a high concentration of American naval forces “with the capability of launching missiles into Russian territory,” which was cause for concern.
Russia had reported that two ballistic objects were fired from the central Mediterranean eastward at 10:16 a.m. Moscow time on September 3, and RIA Novosti later reported that the two objects fell into the sea. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu informed President Vladimir Putin of the launch immediately after a Russian radar station on the Black Sea picked up the objects.
Following the incident, Antonov told the press that “the Mediterranean is a powder keg. A match is enough for fire to break out and possibly spread not only to neighboring states but to other world regions as well. I remind you that the Mediterranean is close to the borders of the Russian Federation.”
Responding to a request for comment on the Russian tongue-lashing, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said it “doesn’t comment on internal discussions in military diplomatic channels.”