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Israeli officials visited Russia, discussed Iran on rare trip

Israel is trying to have it both ways by increasing its assistance to Ukraine while preserving its security ties with Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a joint press conference with his Iranian and Turkish counterparts following their summit in Tehran on July 19, 2022. (Photo by Grigory SYSOYEV / SPUTNIK / AFP) (Photo by GRIGORY SYSOYEV/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images)

The Israeli Foreign Ministry told Al-Monitor that two senior Israeli diplomats traveled to Russia this month on a rare visit. They met with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin and discussed Moscow's armament of Iran among other issues. 

Israel's Hayom newspaper first reported Friday on the May 3 visit to Moscow, the first such senior-level ministerial encounter since the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. 

The Israeli Foreign Ministry confirmed to Al-Monitor that Deputy Director General for Euroasia Simona Halperin and Deputy Director General for Strategic Affairs Joshua Zarka were the two diplomats on the trip.

The visit stands out as Western diplomats have avoided traveling to Russia since its invasion of Ukraine.

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