(July 8, 2019 / JNS) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday concerning the ongoing situation regarding Syria, Iran and bilateral relations.
According to the Prime Minister’s Office, Netanyahu took the opportunity to express his condolences on the deaths of 14 Russian sailors in the Barents Sea on July 1. President Putin also invited Netanyahu to Moscow to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in May 2020.
A Russian statement on the call said that the two leaders discussed “Russian-Israeli cooperation on the Syria issue” as part of a follow-up to the trilateral Jerusalem summit on June 25 attended by the national security advisers from Russia, Israel and the United States, and “in particular, the importance of further coordination between militaries.”
The call came as Iran announced on Monday that had reached 4.5 percent level in uranium enrichment, surpassing the 3.67 percent enrichment cap set by the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
Russia, which was one of the world powers that signed the deal, has deep ties with Iran’s nuclear-energy program.
Israel has also repeatedly pressed Russian to halt Iranian entrenchment in Syria and urged Moscow to for Iran to leave the country. Iran has been supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad in the civil war, but Israel fears that it could establish a permanent presence in the country and be used as a forward operating base to launch attacks on the Jewish state.
To that end, Israel has carried out dozens of airstrikes against Iranian targets in Syria.
Russia also intervened in the war on Assad’s behalf and has set up a defense cooperation mechanism with Israel to avoid conflict.