Urgent negotiations between Israel and Russia that took place this week were focused exclusively on the situation in Syria, and the presence of Russian army on its territory, reports BBC.
According to a source, at the meeting that lasted nearly 3 hours “red lines” were drawn for the Russian leadership. Israel will not allow Hezbollah, or Assad, or Iran, or even Russian military to cross these lines under no circumstances.
Netanyahu’s visit to Moscow has been defined as “working and urgent”. It was prepared in the shortest time possible, and the delegation was determined at the last day.
Together with the Prime Minister, the Chief of the Staff Gadi Eizenkot, the head of military intelligence Herzl Halevy, the head of the National Security Council Yossi Cohen, and the Minister of Immigrant Absorption Zeev Elkin went to Moscow.
According to the former Israeli ambassador in Russia, now a senior worker at the Institute for National Security at Tel Aviv University (INSS) Zvi Magen, the participation of senior military commanders in this trip causes a number of serious questions.
“The presence of the Chief of the Staff in such negotiations is an unusual thing by itself, and outside the scope of diplomatic protocol, – says Magen. – This means that the receiving party shall invite at least a similar military rank to the meeting, and they will only discuss issues of the strategic matter”.
According to the former diplomat, the main purpose of the Israeli side at the talks in Moscow was naming specific items that can not be acceptable to Jerusalem under any circumstances:
First: Israel can not afford the combination of the current regime headed by Bashar al-Assad, the growing Iranian influence in Syria, including the Golan Heights, and supplying weapons to militants of Hezbollah.
Second: If Russia declares its military presence in Syria as the need to fight against the ISIS, then what specific steps it intends to take? Although the interests of Moscow and Jerusalem are identical on this issue, the Israelis would like to receive more information about the plans of Russian military.
Third: Russian military presence should not limit the freedom of action of the Israeli side on Syrian territory in all matters relating to the prevention of attempts of weapons supply to radical Islamist groups, particularly in southern Lebanon.
“Given all these factors, and the composition of the delegation, I can assume that the Israelis will not return from Moscow empty handed,” – said the former diplomat.