Putin calls Netanyahu as Zelensky visits Washington

Thursday - 22/12/2022 07:03 Author: Editors Desk Source: The Jerusalem Post
Netanyahu told Putin "he hopes a way will be found quickly to end the war [with Ukraine] and the suffering caused by it."

Russian President Vladimir Putin called prime minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu Thursday to congratulate him on forming a government, just one day after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made his highly publicized visit to the White House.

Details of Netanyahu's call with Putin, who has become an international pariah in the West due to his invasion of Ukraine, were published Thursday morning by Netanyahu's Likud party.

Netanyahu told Putin "he hopes a way will be found quickly to end the war [with Ukraine] and the suffering caused by it," the Likud said.

 

The two also discussed regional issues such as Iran's attempt to entrench itself militarily in Syria, which borders Israel. During his previous term as prime minister, Netanyahu worked out a deconfliction agreement with Russia whose army operates in Syria, to allow for Israel to conduct aerial attacks against Iranian targets and their proxies without tangling with Russian forces.

Since Netanyahu left office in 2021 after failing to form a government, Russia has tightened its military alliance with Iran, which has provided Moscow with armed drones for its war in Ukraine.

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Bocharov Ruchei state residence in Sochi, Russia September 12, 2019. (credit: REUTERS/SHAMIL ZHUMATOV)
 Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Bocharov Ruchei state residence in Sochi, Russia September 12, 2019. (credit: REUTERS/SHAMIL ZHUMATOV)


Netanyahu told Putin he "is determined to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and to halt its attempts to establish a military base on our northern border."

Putin's first public call to Netanyahu since the elections

This is Putin's first public call to Netanyahu since he won Israel's election on November 1. After that victory, which allowed Netanyahu to work to form a government, Zelensky called Netanyahu, as did US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

Putin's call came as international attention was focused on Biden's warm welcome to Zelensky at the White House and the standing ovation he received after addressing the US Congress. 

When last in office, Netanyahu balanced strong ties with both Moscow and Washington, a move that will now be complicated by the war in Ukraine and Biden's unabashed support for Kyiv. 

Israel has been one of the countries that have acted as a mediator between Russia and Ukraine.

 Keywords: Ukraine, Russia, Israel

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