Netanyahu Heads for Russia Ahead of Putin-Trump Summit
Written by Andrew Friedman/TPS on July 11, 2018
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu left for Moscow for meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin ahead the latter’s summit next week with US President Donald Trump in Helsinki, Finland.
Netanyahu said the talks would focus on Syria, Iran and Israel’s security needs, and reiterated that his personal relationship with Putin is an important facet of Israel’s national security doctrine.
“I very much appreciate the excellent direct connection, without intermediaries, between myself and the Russian President,” Netanyahu said in a statement. It is very important for the national security of the State of Israel.
The visit to Moscow is Netanyahu’s third in the past year, most recently in May when he celebrated Russia’s Victory Day with all-day meetings with Putin, culminating in watching a military parade in Red Square from Putin’s viewing stand.
Prior to departing for Russia, Netanyahu, and National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat met Tuesday with Putin’s special envoy, Alexander Lavrentiev, and with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin to discuss regional developments. Netanyahu said he had clarified to the Russians that Israel would not tolerate a military presence by Iran or its proxies anywhere in Syria and stressed that Israel would demand that Syria abide strictly by the 1974 Separation of Forces Agreement that ended the Yom Kippur War.