Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met right now, Oct. 22, in Sochi with Russian President Vladimir Putin. It was their first speak face-to-face since Bennett took workplace earlier this 12 months. Bennett arrived to the Russian resort city at 10 a.m. His assembly with Putin was scheduled to take some two hours, however lasted almost 5. As a outcome, Bennett shall be staying in Russia till the Sabbath is over tomorrow night.
Bennett and Putin had spoken a minimum of twice on the telephone in current months — with Putin calling to congratulate Bennett after composing a authorities, and with Bennett calling Putin not too long ago to debate regional points and to congratulate him on his 69th birthday.
Before departing for Russia, Bennett’s workplace mentioned that talks would deal with a number of strategic points, together with Israeli issues over Iranian army entrenchment in Syria, Iran and the Iranian nuclear talks. Reports additionally famous that Moscow is anxious over alleged Israeli assaults in Syria not being coordinated forward of time with Russia. Another challenge that was anticipated to come back up on the assembly was the authorized and monetary state of affairs of the Russian Orthodox Church’s actual estates in Israel.
Bennett’s go to marks not solely the primary face-to-face assembly between the 2 leaders, but additionally celebrates 30 years of bilateral diplomatic relations. Israel determined Oct. 18 to allow vacationers vaccinated with the Russian Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine to enter Israel, despite the fact that the World Health Organization remains to be accessing the Russian vaccine for emergency use. The determination was perceived in Israel as a diplomatic gesture towards Moscow, and never as a change within the nation’s well being coverage. Following the current surge in Israel of delta variant instances, Bennett was reconsidering this step, as per Oct. 21 studies.
Speaking in entrance of cameras earlier than the assembly, Putin mentioned, “There are a lot of problematic topics, but there are also points of contact and opportunities for cooperation, especially in relation to fighting terror.” Putin additionally famous that Israel is home to a really giant Russian-speaking neighborhood. He expressed his hope that Bennett’s authorities will proceed the nice relations cast with the earlier Israeli authorities, and that progress in bilateral commerce will proceed, together with in high-tech.
Bennett mentioned that he and Putin will focus on “the situation in Syria and the efforts to stop Iran’s military nuclear program,” along with financial, technological, scientific and cultural cooperation. “Israel has a million ambassadors, a million Russian-speaking Israelis, who are a great contribution to Israel’s culture, as well as the mentality they bring here of hard work, power, strength,” Bennett mentioned. The Israeli premier continued that his assembly with the Russian chief is “based on the deep connection between the two nations. We see you as a real friend of the Jewish people.”
Bennett additionally referred to the Red Army’s function in defeating Nazi Germany. “As a student of history, one must appreciate the courage in those difficult years for the entire Russian nation,” Bennett acknowledged. He additionally up to date Putin about efforts to assemble a museum in Israel commemorating Jewish troopers who fought in numerous armies throughout World War II, together with in Russia’s Red Army.
After addressing the cameras, the 2 leaders then continued their dialog in personal. Only a Russian translator on Putin’s aspect and Housing Minister Ze’ev Elkin on Bennett’s aspect have been current within the room with the leaders for the personal a part of the speak. In the previous, Russian-speaking Elkin accompanied former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a number of conferences he had with Putin, and is taken into account an professional on Israel-Russia relations.
Apart from Elkin, Bennett was accompanied on his journey by nationwide safety adviser Eyal Hulata, Bennett’s diplomatic adviser Shimrit Meir and the federal government’s army secretary Maj. Gen. Avi Gil. Bennett’s workplace didn’t say whether or not these senior officers have been scheduled to have talks with Russian counterparts whereas in Sochi.