Saturday, November 27

Putin to continue cooperating with Israel without his ‘friend’ Netanyahu


Updated

The Russian president meets in Sochi with the ‘premier’ israel Bennett to strengthen relations amid the entrenched dialogue over the Iran nuclear deal

Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister
Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett this Friday in Sochi.EFE
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Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett arrived in Russia on Friday to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin and talk about everything about him. plan nuclear de Irn and the Syrian war, two difficult issues where both support opposing sides.

“In general we have many issues that we can and must address. I really hope that, despite internal political struggles, which are inevitable in any state, your government will pursue a policy of continuity in Russian-Israeli relations,” the Russian president said to the receive Bennett at his residence in Sochi, on the shores of the Black Sea. Bennett He pointed out in turn that the Israelis consider the Russian president a “very close friend.” It is well known that with whom Putin struck up a friendship was with Benjamin Netanyahu, Bennett’s predecessor, who now seeks to keep that useful close to the Kremlin, which must manifest itself in large but also small gestures. Israel will allow Russian tourists who have been vaccinated with the Russian Sputnik V vaccine to enter the country in the next two months, even though the vaccine is not recognized by the World Health Organization.

Fear of a nuclear Iran

Russia is a member of the P5 + 1 group of countries that negotiated the nuclear deal with Iran. Talks about rejoining the United States into this pact – considered dead for months – will resume soon. Putin has known how to play a delicate diplomatic game of maintain friendly ties with both Israel and Iran.

Moscow has been quietly lobbying Tehern in recent weeks, with the aim of ensuring that Iran does not further violate the agreement regarding international monitoring of its facilities. Israel, for its part,has bid against the resumption of the agreement and it has backed a concerted international effort to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

Bennett hopes Putin will use his influence to stop Iran. But Moscow recently gave a clear signal when it greeted Iran’s chief of staff a few days before Bennett’s visit.

Understanding in Syria

An important element of the link between Russia and Israel despite the different positions has been the military coordination during the attacks that Israel frequently carries out in Syria (whose leader is backed by Moscow) against Iraqi targets or the Chies militias associated with Tehern, who support the Syrian regime. Putin stressed during the meeting that Russia and Israel have common points about counterterrorism in Syria.

After losing power, Benjamin Netanyahu promised Putin: “Come back soon”. Bennett’s predecessor boasted of a close relationship with the Russian leader. That base made it possible for Israel to launch a year-long air campaign against Iranian-backed fighters in Syria. That campaign has continued under Bennett, although recently there have been tensions in the Israel-Russia relationship over policies towards Syria, according to ‘The Times of Israel’.

Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes inside Syria, targeting what it claims are weapons envelopes believed to be targeted at the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah. But Israel’s ability to act in Syria was seriously undermined after Russia to provide S-300 air defense batteries to the Syrian president’s forces. The decision looks like a response to a 2018 incident in which the Syrian army, targeting Israeli planes, shot down a Russian plane, killing all 15 people on board.

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