Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew to Russia Wednesday for a meeting with Russian President Vladmir Putin to discuss nuclear talks with Iran, among other issues.
While Israel does not expect that the Kremlin will change its position significantly on Iran, the prime minister will try to elicit help from Russia to tailor any agreement more to Israeli standards, according to Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin, who is accompanying Netanyahu on the trip, Israel Radio reported.
“[We] don’t expect that Russia will adopt Israel’s views [on Iran], but even a slight change in Russia’s position could affect the expected agreement between the [world] powers and Iran,” he said.
Iran and six world powers are scheduled to begin a third installment of negotiations Wednesday with the goal of resurrecting an interim deal that fell apart at the eleventh hour of the last round of talks.
Russia is a staunch supporter of Iran, and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Saturday that there is a “very good” chance that the next meeting will produce an preliminary agreement, but that there are some tough issues to resolve. He also laid the blame for the failure of the last round on the US for bowing to pressure from France to add last-minute changes to a working draft.
Netanyahu last visited Russia in May, when he and Putin met for emergency talks at the Black Sea resort of Sochi to discuss the situation in Syria, amid concerns that Moscow could soon provide Damascus with a cutting-edge missile defense system.
The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.
We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.
Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.