Israel's Bennett to Meet Putin in Russia Next Week for the First Time

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
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Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett speaks at the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, last week.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett speaks at the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, last week.Credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin for the first time next week.

During the meeting, which will take place in the Russian town of Sochi on October 22, Bennett and Putin are expected to discuss a range of political, security and economic issues as well as important regional issues, most notably the Iranian nuclear program, a statement by the Prime Minister Office said.

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Putin congratulated Bennett shortly after he replaced Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister in June. However, Israeli officials wished that the two leaders will only meet after the Israeli premier's meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden, which took place in August.  

Bennett has said repeatedly that Israel won't allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, while opposing the U.S. efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran. 

"Over the past three years, unfortunately, the Iranians have leaped forward, buying time the centrifuges keep spinning," Bennett said on Sunday in a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Jerusalem. 

"It is Israel's responsibility – with actions and not only words – to ensure Iran doesn't achieve nuclear weapons,' Bennett said.

The issue of Iran was also on the agenda when Bennett met Biden in Washington in August.

Bennett said he and Biden agreed to “a joint strategic effort” to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. "Iran is the world's number one exporter of terror, instability and human rights violations ... and we're going to stop them, we both agreed," Bennett said alongside Biden.

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