Israeli PM Netanyahu to meet Russia’s Putin on Wednesday: statement
Benjamin Netanyahu will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday in Moscow to discuss regional issues, the Israeli prime minister said in a statement on Saturday.
Netanyahu was invited to participate in the annual Moscow Victory Day Parade, commemorating the Allied defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II.
Israel has been lobbying world powers to “fix or nix” a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran as a May 12 deadline set by President Trump approaches. Israel is also concerned Iran is establishing a military presence in Syria and has struck against Iranian targets there.
Since intervening in the Syrian civil war on behalf of President Bashar al-Assad in 2015, Russia has generally turned a blind eye to Israeli attacks on suspected arms transfers and deployments by his Iranian and Hezbollah allies.
But when Moscow condemned an April 9 strike that killed seven Iranian personnel and blamed Israel, it set off speculation in Israel that Russian patience might be wearing thin.
Netanyahu and Putin spoke by phone on Monday after the Israeli prime minister presented what he said were Iran’s secret nuclear files which document it having worked toward developing atomic weapons in the past.
Moscow has repeatedly said it wants the Iran nuclear deal left intact. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday Russia would deem any changes to the deal to be unacceptable.
Irfan Ansari The Kootneeti Team - Middle East Monitor
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