Moscow has asked Israel to encourage the US to lift sanctions imposed on Damascus to allow Russian companies to carry out reconstruction projects in Syria, Axios reported earlier this week.
Reporting an Israeli official, Axios disclosed that Russian President Vladimir Putin asked Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to speak with the US on this issue during the latter's visit to Russia.
The Israeli official said that Russia wants its companies to win the big construction projects in the war-torn country.
According to Axios, Russian companies are afraid of the effect of US sanctions – the US Caesar Act – should they take part in the reconstruction of Syria.
This law is the main deterrent for foreign companies interested in becoming involved in the Syria reconstruction effort.
According to the Israeli official, Russians argue that maintaining the sanctions on Syria paves the way for Iranian companies already under US sanctions to carry out major reconstruction projects, thereby increasing the Iranian influence in Syria.
Axios reported that the Israeli prime minister's office declined to comment on these reports.
Currently, Russia, Israel, and the US are discussing holding a trilateral meeting for their national security advisors to discuss the way forward in Syria, but no date has been set for such a meeting.