Israel’s Foreign Ministry said Thursday it was unaware of any planned visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin next month, rebuffing reports in Palestinian media that the strongman was headed to the region.
The Palestinian al-Quds newspaper reported Thursday that Putin was planning a trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories in early February as part of a tour of the Middle East.
Putin’s state visit was said to include meetings with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah and with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a bid to inject life into the peace process.
Jerusalem responded to the report saying that it was unaware of any plans for Putin to travel to Israel in February. There was no announcement of an upcoming visit to Israel on the Russian president’s website.
Putin last paid an official visit to Israel in June 2012.
Earlier this week Russia and Iran signed an agreement to expand their military ties and resolve a long-standing dispute over the sale of an advanced S-300 air defense system. It remained unclear whether Russia would provide Tehran with the S-300 missile system, however.