With Israel gripped in Obama madness, Russian President Vladimir Putin signaled
he was also a player, sending a letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
inviting him to Moscow.
While during the years when Ariel Sharon and Ehud
Olmert were prime ministers they visited Moscow about once a year, Netanyahu has
not been in Moscow since 2010.
The invitation came in a congratulatory
letter Putin sent to Netanyahu on Tuesday after the prime minister formed his
government. Israeli officials said no date has yet been set for the
The invitation arrived hours before US President Barack Obama was due to land in Israel to begin his first official visit as president to the country, hoping to reset his often fraught relations with both the Israelis and Palestinians.
Putin visited Israel in June 2012, within months of winning the
Russian presidency again.
Last week he hosted Palestinian Authority President
Mahmoud Abbas in Moscow. During the visit, Abbas said he hoped peace talks with Israel would restart this year, although he added that the chances for this appeared slim.
Reuters contributed to this report.