Russian Delegation Arrives in Israel for Security Talks, Netanyahu's Office Confirms

The delegation includes deputy foreign and justice ministers, generals and senior officials in the army and Russian intelligence apparatus

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attend an event in Moscow, Russia, January 29, 2018.
VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP

The Prime Minister's Office confirmed the reports of the arrival of a large Russian delegation on Tuesday, headed by Nikolai Patrushev, the secretary of the Russian Federation Security Council. The delegation also includes deputy foreign and justice ministers, generals and senior officials in the army and Russian intelligence apparatus.

"The national security adviser, Meir Ben-Shabbat, will host the delegation for extensive discussions on regional issues and other subjects tied to the joint interests of Russia and Israel," the Prime Minister's Office stated.

The statement noted that there are delegations and meetings of Israeli officials and their Russian counterparts on a regular basis.

The delegation's arrival comes a day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, where the two are reported to have held an in-depth discussion on missile factories Jerusalem says Tehran is setting up in Lebanon.

Speaking with reporters after the meeting, Netanyahu said that Iran's factories were already "in progress" and that he had stressed to his Russian counterpart that it is a threat Israel was not willing to accept.

According to Netanyahu, the Russians "fully understand our position and the seriousness with which we view such threats." He added that Israel's ties with the Kremlin are important for security coordination between the countries: "The Russian army is on our border and we have managed to preserve our interests and freedom to act [by] coordinating expectations."