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December 20, 2013 1:52 pm

Report: In Recent Meeting, Putin Surprised Netanyahu With Expression of Support

avatar by Gidon Ben-zvi

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Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Photo: Wiki Commons.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was surprised by a forthright expression of support for the Jewish state from Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting last month in Moscow, Israeli daily Ma’ariv reported on Friday.

Netanyahu had flown to meet the Russian leader in a last minute effort to prevent an interim nuclear deal between Iran and world powers from being signed.

During the meeting, Netanyahu asked Putin to withhold support for the convening of a Nuclear Non Proliferation Conference the stated purpose of which would be to rid the entire Middle East of nuclear weapons, according to the report. In 2010, President Barack Obama first announced plans for the convening of this international meeting. However, due to Israeli pressure, America pulled its support for the initiative late in 2012.

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Russia was and remains one of the Conference’s chief backers. Ma’ariv said that in his meeting with Putin, Netanyahu explained that a meeting with effectively the chief aim of dismantling Israel’s nuclear capability – the existence of which has never been confirmed by Israel – will harm the country’s vital national interests.

Netanyahu went on to explain to the Russian President that there will only be a place for the convening of such a meeting after peaceful relations have been established between Israel and Arab countries across the Middle East, Ma’ariv said.

At this point in their hour-and-a-half conversation, Putin surprised the Israeli Premier. “Russia will slow all efforts to convene the conference,” Putin promised Netanyahu, according to Ma’ariv. Putin went even further, making it clear to Netanyahu that Russia will not do anything to harm Israel. He added that despite the alliance between Israel and the United States, Russia stands by Israel.

The reported comments come as somewhat of a policy about -face, as four short months ago Putin stated that Israel should dismantle its nuclear capability. However, the devil is in the details of this apparent change in the official Russian position vis-a-vis Israel’s nuclear program. Specifically, Putin told Netanyahu that Russia supports the ‘slowing’ of efforts to convene an international Nuclear Non Proliferation Conference, not a complete cessation of such efforts.

In short, while Putin is taking the Israeli position into account, he fully intends to keep all options on the table.

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  • Luigi Rosolin

    My impression is the Mr Putin personal believe had change on last few years. He is probably well aware of history and if you keep in account his standing again the cult of Islam and they ideology home, become obvious and logical to support Israel:is the only state oppose to Islam.The Syrian war,is now a contention between the two ethnic-cult block of Islam.Witch had change the world as the extreme human right abuse had never been so high. The western and Russia-China block cannot stop such destabilization and horror. Both site had first hand experience the cult-terrorism in Afghanistan, that after decade had left not enough change in the culture-cult that is prone only to implement the Islamic extremist rule. Israel is now the more important state that the world can relay for stability in the region and to oppose the Islamic intention to impose the cult.The oil economical interest is China focus for their need for the growing need of their consumption.China is now a big player in the scenario.

  • zulu99

    Excellent!
    Putin proves again and again, that HE is the leader of the NEW World.
    Obama screwed himself many times, but thankfully his time as president is coming to an end soon.
    America probably will never be the same good friend of Israel.
    But Russia might very well be.
    After all, more than half of Israel’s population have their origins either in Russia or in countries surrounding Russia, like Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Azerbajan, Uzbekistan, Moldova…
    I’m myself from Lithuania, but lived 30 years in North America, 16 years in Israel and back and back again in Israel, and I find myself checking the russian channel all the time, because it’s interesting to see how different Russia is today.
    I find it very satisfying to see so many news related to culture, quite frequently mentioning some Israeli dance group or another musical group appearing on some cultural festivals there.
    Israel has very strong ties with Russia, probably as much as strong as with US.

  • Israel should never give up its nukes as that eliminates the Samson option.

  • John-Daniel

    Putin made a smart move to keep peace at hand, and seeing a possible threat from Iran

  • jacob mandelblum

    Nothin g to wonder about comrade PUTIN;s support for NETHANYAHU, if remembering that the defunct USSR voted in favor of Israel at the UN historical vote creating it and then what happened and keeps on happening to this very day…

  • paul

    ha ha. how can u ever trust former KGB officer? hmm

    • zulu99

      that’s why he is strong and smart!
      To be a KGB officer is exactly like to be a CIA agent – only the best get there.
      obama is not smart. He got to be a president because all his life he was involved in political crap. So he knew the game.
      Obama is playing dirty f.. games with everybody.
      The result of it we are seeing now.

  • Fleur

    Words are cheap, it’s actions that count! Didn’t Obama say he had Israel’s back. Perhaps he meant “knife in the back.” I’m sure there’s a quote from ” Metternich” that covers this . Whatever, there is no doubt that countries only act in their own interests and rulers act in theirs. Why expect it to be otherwise .

  • It looks as if Putin was a better friend to Israel than Obama. But then, just about everyone, outside muslim/arab leaders is a better friend to Israel than is Obama. In fact I think that Obama is the most lethal enemy of Israel – I am reminded of Goethe’s “Faust” where Faust recognises what the core of this little pudel really was: “Das also war des Pudel’s Kern”

  • Does Israel even need nuclear weapons?

    I mean, obviously, there are a lot of threats in the region. But look at it this way…

    Back in the ’40s, it took just a couple dozen Jews only a few months to build the world’s first “atom bomb”. I was born after WWII so my recollections of that time are only second hand or from old movies, but I do seem to recall that the personal automobile was still a fairly newfangled thing back then; Ford’s first Model A was still a teenager.

    Now, flash forward 70 years. How far has technology come since the Manhattan Project? With literally millions of Jews (many scientists among them) living and working side-by-side in tiny Israel (the world’s 153rd largest country by area), a nation beset on all sides by enemies, what could they not imagine and then build to protect themselves?

    And who says they haven’t done it already?

    Engaging in conventional, full-on war against Israel has proven disastrous to its enemies in the past. Any aggressor confronting her with non-conventional weapons may well be in for a riskier misadventure than most would suspect — or possibly even imagine.

    • Joe Aronow

      I certainly agree with you. Who can imagine what
      what new science has been perfected in the last seventy years.

    • Blind

      Israel has nuclear weapons…

  • NCS

    With America’s current lack of strong foreign policy and guaranteed support of Israel, there is a void that Russia sees as an opportunity to fill no matter how temporary. Russia plays both sides of the table where it profits them.

  • Bernard Ross

    perhaps russia does this for iran. in any case it is foolish to grasp for straws

  • Arie

    Just more proof that the global alliances are shifting: obama, jihadists, and the narco-terrorists on one side and civilization on the other

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