(photo credit: Courtesy)
Defense Minister Ehud Barak will travel to Russia on Sunday amid Israeli
concerns over the sale of advanced military technology to Syria and
Barak’s trip to Moscow is the first visit of an Israeli defense
minister to Russia, excluding Yitzhak Rabin, who traveled there when he served
as prime minister and defense minister.
Barak is expected to meet with
his Russian counterpart, Anatoly Serdyukov. There is also a possibility that he
will meet with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
Russia is looking to
increase its involvement in the newly-launched peace talks between Israel and
the Palestinian Authority.
Barak will likely be asked during his visit
there to allow the transfer of 50 Russian armored vehicles into the West
Israel is, however, most concerned with Russian plans to supply
Syria with advanced supersonic P-800 Yakhont cruise missiles that would
serious threat to Israel Navy ships if transferred to Hizbullah.
the 2006 Second Lebanon War, Hizbullah succeeded in striking a naval
ship with an Iranian-supplied surface- to-sea missile.
Israel is also
concerned with the possibility that Russia will follow through with the
of the S-300 surface-to-air defense system to Iran. Russia has issued
messages regarding the future of the 2005 deal in recent months, first
that the new round of sanctions on Iran passed at the United Nations in
would not impede the deal, and later saying that it would.