Lieberman: Russia Elections Were Fair and Democratic

Foreign Minister meets with Putin in Moscow, discusses Mideast security matters and urges him not to support unilateral steps by Palestinians at UN.

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Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman met with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Wednesday, and said that he believes the recent elections in Russia were fair and democratic, the Russian news agency Itar-Tass reported.

According to the report, Lieberman said that he shares the view of the Israeli observers who oversaw the election in Russia, who said they were fair and democratic.

The elections, which were recently described by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as neither free nor fair, resulted with Putin's United Russia party winning less than 50 percent of Sunday's vote – a steep fall from its earlier two-thirds majority.

Visiting Moscow as part of an annual economic cooperation summit between Israel and Russia, Lieberman spoke to Putin about the situation in Syria and Iran, and about the role of Hezbollah and Hamas in the region.

Lieberman said he hopes Israel's positions on these matters will receive proper attention in Russia.

Lieberman also stressed that supplying Syria with state-of-the-art weapons can have very negative consequences given the current turmoil in the country. He also told Putin that Russia's support of unilateral steps by the Palestinians at the UN does not help promote an agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Last week, AFP reported that Russia has delivered supersonic cruise missiles to Syria. A military source told the Interfax news agency, The Yakhont supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles have been delivered to Syria," although it was not made clear exactly when the shipment was made.

Russia has close political and strategic relations with Assad's government and has been one if its main arms suppliers. Syria accounted for 7 percent of Russia's total of $10 billion in arms deliveries abroad in 2010, according to the Russian defense think-tank CAST.

Read this article in Hebrew

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, right, and Israeli Prime Minister Avigdor Lieberman speak during their meeting in the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011.Credit: AP

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