Russian President Vladimir Putin said yesterday that he does not intend to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the near future, Sputnik news agency reported.
According to the report, Putin said that Tel Aviv’s position on the downing of a Russian military plane in Syria is clear which is that “Israel believes that it is not involved in this tragedy”.
The Russian president was referring to the downing of Russian Il-20 plane in Syria in friendly fire in September. Although the Russian military plane was downed by Syrian regime forces, Moscow blamed Tel Aviv saying Israeli jets used the Russian jet as cover for their operations and did not give Moscow enough warning of their planned strike on Syrian targets. The incident killed all 15 Russian personnel on board the jet.
Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier that Putin’s first meeting with Netanyahu following the Russian plane crash at a dinner in Paris was brief and lasted for only 10-15 minutes, adding that the leaders discussed bilateral relations.
However, on Sunday Netanyahu described the meeting as “good and practical. I would even describe it as very important” without giving further details.