Putin, Netanyahu to meet in Moscow this month
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Putin, Netanyahu to meet in Moscow this month

Israeli PM will hold talks with Russian president during brief visit, Kremlin says

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Jerusalem on June 25, 2012 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/Pool/Flash90)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Jerusalem on June 25, 2012 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/Pool/Flash90)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on November 20 during a brief visit to Russia, the Kremlin announced Tuesday.

In September, Russia raised a brief alarm in the Middle East after apparently detecting a joint Israel and US missile launch test in the Mediterranean.

Israel’s Defense Ministry confirmed that it carried out a successful trial involving a new type of Sparrow target missile, which was meant to test Israel’s missile tracking capabilities.

Russia had reported that two ballistic objects had been fired from the central Mediterranean to the eastern coast of the sea at 10:16 a.m. Moscow time, which is an hour ahead of Israel.

Netanyahu and Putin last met for emergency talks at the Black Sea resort of Sochi in mid-May to discuss the situation in Syria, amid concerns that Moscow could soon provide Damascus with a cutting-edge missile defense system.

At the time, Moscow’s overriding message to Netanyahu was one of restraint, urging political, rather than military, means of resolving the almost-three-year conflict. While Putin and Netanyahu acknowledged that the ongoing violence in Syria is detrimental to the entire region, the Russian president said that the only way to resolve the crisis was “the soonest end to armed conflict and the beginning of political settlement,” Russia’s Interfax news agency reported.

Netanyahu, however, said that the volatile situation in the Middle East requires action to improve security.

Russia has continued to ship weapons to Syria, despite the civil war there, but it has, so far, refrained from providing Damascus with the S-300s, a powerful weapon that has a range of up to 200 kilometers (125 miles), can intercept fighter jets and cruise missiles, and the capability to track down and strike multiple targets simultaneously with lethal efficiency.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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