Russian President Vladimir Putin is planning to make his first official visit to Israel since 2005, although the exact date for the visit has not yet been determined, the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

News of Putin's expected visit came as Russia was the center of controversy for its continued support of Syrian President Bashar Assad, who the rest of the western world has agreed should be ousted from power because of a brutal crackdown on opposition in the country which has left more than 10,000 people dead. In addition, Russia has been seen as an impediment to harsher international action against Iran for its continued pursuit of nuclear technology.

Foreign Minster Avigdor Liberman met with Putin in Moscow in December amid reports that Russia had delivered Yaknot cruise missiles to Syria, despite US and Israeli lobbying against the move.

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