Netanyahu to Meet Putin in Moscow on Thursday

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu during a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, February 27, 2019. (Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin via Reuters)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will fly to Moscow on Thursday to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Prime Minister’s Office said on Tuesday.

The statement did not elaborate on the intended topics of discussion. The two leaders will meet five days before Israel‘s election.

On Monday, Netanyahu told reporters he and Putin spoke by telephone about Syria, whose Russian-backed president, Bashar al-Assad, has been gaining ground in an eight-year civil war.

Israel worries Assad’s Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah reinforcements could set up bases to attack it from Syria, and has carried out scores of air strikes against them.

Thursday’s meeting could also help Netanyahu in the closely contested election, in which he has played up his statecraft and security credentials in the face of the politically untested challenger Benny Gantz, a former IDF Chief of Staff.

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