Russian President Vladimir Putin to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett

Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in Sochi today. The Russian and Israeli leaders

File

Photo: File

Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in Sochi today.

The Russian and Israeli leaders are expected to discuss security and economic matters, including containing Iran’s nuclear ambitions. The meeting follows talks on Wednesday between Russia and Iran’s foreign ministers on reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal which restricts Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

Russia and Israel have mixed opinions about the Iran nuclear deal. On one hand, the return of the nuclear deal may hurt Moscow by improving relations between Iran, the US and EU. Yet on the other hand, Iran has also become a strategic ally for Russia by partnering with them in Syria and Afghanistan. Complicating matters further, if Russia sides with Israel, it could foster a closer relationship between the two, challenging Israel’s allegiance to the US and preventing the isolation of Russia for its actions in Ukraine and Crimea.

Israel’s interests are simpler, they wish to pull Moscow away from Iran and prevent other middle eastern nations from developing nuclear weapons.

As Syria is currently taking precedence in Russia’s calculus, expect Putin to abstain from supporting the Iran nuclear deal to gain Israeli support on the Israel-Syria border.

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