Naftali Bennett discusses Iran talks with Russia's Putin

The leaders discussed regional security and "agreed on continued close cooperation in this area."

 Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Russia President Vladimir Putin meeting, October 22, 2021.  (photo credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Russia President Vladimir Putin meeting, October 22, 2021.
(photo credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)

The world must stand united against a nuclear Iran, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday.

“Against the backdrop of the nuclear talks in Vienna, the prime minister stressed the importance of a strong and determined stance against Iran’s progress in the nuclear project,” said the Prime Minister’s Office readout of the call.

The leaders discussed regional security and “agreed on continued close cooperation in this area,” the PMO said, and the Russian statement specified that they discussed Syria. Israel and Russia have a deconfliction mechanism for IAF strikes on Iranian bases and weapons convoys in Syria, where Russia has a substantial military presence.

According to the Russian readout, Bennett asked Putin about the negotiations with the US and its NATO allies on the conflict in Ukraine. Similarly, following a call between Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the American statement emphasized “the risks of further Russian aggression against Ukraine.”

Israel has tried to stay out of the Russia-Ukraine issue, because the US is its strongest ally, but its relationship with Russia is important, especially when it comes to Syria. Israel has good relations with Ukraine, as well.

RUSSIAN PRESIDENT Vladimir Putin meets with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in Sochi last month. (credit: Evgeny Biyatov/Sputnik-Kremlin via Reuters)RUSSIAN PRESIDENT Vladimir Putin meets with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in Sochi last month. (credit: Evgeny Biyatov/Sputnik-Kremlin via Reuters)

The Russian statement on the call also noted that Putin spoke about “difficulties in reaching a settlement in the Middle East.”

Putin invited Bennett and his wife, Gilat, to visit St. Petersburg.

The Russian president had previously made the gesture during Bennett’s visit to his home in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi in October. Putin and Bennett met for several hours, and Bennett said he found Putin to have “an attentive ear for Israel’s security needs.”