Netanyahu Flew to Russia’s Strongman — But Talks with Putin “A Bust”

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited China, and then Russia, this month. Did he accomplish anything?  In Sochi, the Russian resort city that will host the Winter Olympic Games next year, the Israeli made it clear that he was trying to persuade Vladimir Putin to cancel planned arms deliveries to Syria.

In an exclusive article for, where he is a Contributing Editor, Yossi Melman reveals that Netanyahu failed.  Here is a small excerpt:

Israeli diplomatic sources are expressing disappointment at the outcome of Tuesday’s meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Netanyahu, who initiated the meeting, …was accompanied by Chief of Military Intelligence Major-General Aviv Kochavi and Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin, who served as a translator. Netanyahu hoped to persuade Russia not to honor its contract to supply surface-air S-300 missiles to the Syrian army. But Israeli sources told The Tower that Putin was evasive and refused to commit himself on the issue.

During the meeting with Putin, Netanyahu also clarified Israel’s position versus Syria. He explained that Israel would continue to obstruct by all means available  — including continued air attacks — Syria’s efforts to ship long-range missiles to Hezbollah.

The Russian president, on the other hand, made clear that his country objects to any foreign intervention in Syria and advised Israel to restrain itself, arguing that further attacks may escalate the situation.

Click here for the full article at, published by The Israel Project in Washington:

May 16, 2013

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