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Netanyahu gets little from Putin in Sochi meeting

The meeting that took place on Thursday between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin produced no change in Moscow’s policy on Iran.
Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a meeting at the Bocharov Ruchei state residence in Sochi, Russia September 12, 2019. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov - RC1C716EE3D0
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On Sept. 12, just five days before the election, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew to Sochi to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. At first, Netanyahu wanted something entirely different. He was hoping for a tripartite meeting of the national security advisers of Israel, Russia and the United States, ideally with each of the heads of state — Netanyahu, Putin and President Donald Trump — in attendance. This initiative failed. Putin refused to cooperate, while the United States is busy with something else entirely, i.e., the likely meeting between Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, much to Netanyahu’s chagrin.

Netanyahu also paid a quick visit to Russia on the eve of the last April election, to Moscow that time. Before his trip to Sochi, he said he planned to speak with Putin about the situation in Syria, insist on freedom of military activity for Israel and explain the severity of Iran’s actions. Did he manage to get anything out of that trip? It is highly doubtful.

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