Netanyahu to Meet Putin in Moscow Five Days Before Election

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Thursday, five days before Israelis head to the polls for the April 9 election.

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Netanyahu and Putin spoke on the phone Monday and discussed ‘regional issues.’ The prime minister is currently hosting Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in Jerusalem.

The two met in February in Moscow on a brief state visit. At the time, Netanyahu told Putin that "ties between us have prevented friction between our armies and contributed to security in the region." He also recounted that this was the twelfth meeting between the two leaders since September 2015.

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They discussed regional affairs, the situation in Syria and the strengthening of the security coordination.

Putin said he would participate in the opening ceremony for a new monument in Jerusalem commemorating victims and survivors of the World War II Siege of Leningrad. There is no date set yet for this visit, which the two countries will agree on a later time.

Netanyahu said after the last meeting that getting the Iranians and all foreign fighters out of Syria is also one of Russia’s stated goals. A diplomatic source added that Putin did not place limitations on Israel’s actions in Syria.

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Regarding Israel’s actions in Syria, the diplomatic source told reporters that "the policy is that we will continue to act and it’s accepted with understanding."

Referring to the downing of the Russian spy plane in Syria in September 2018, the source added that the crisis is "behind us."