"A very hot meeting," Minister Zeev Elkin described today (Friday) the first meeting between Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi.
"There was a deep dialogue on the strategic issues and an agreement was reached on the continuation of the existing policy regarding Israel's freedom of action in Syria," Elkin added.
According to Elkin, the liaison officer with Russia and Ukraine, who also acted as interpreter at the meeting, "the prime minister presented his worldview on Iran's nuclear program, the shortcomings of the agreement and his view on halting Iran's defeat in Syria."
He stressed that the conversation discussed "security issues and sensitive policies", and the two also talked about "dealing with the danger of radical terrorism".
Among other things, Elkin noted that the two leaders discussed "bilateral issues, including a trade agreement between Israel and the Euro-Asian alliance, which includes six countries, and they will try to reach an agreement within six months."
The minister added that Putin and Bennett had agreed on the establishment of two working teams to deal with the corona plague and the tourist entry scheme while the Russian vaccine "Sputnik" has not yet been approved by the World Health Organization.
Putin gave Bennett and Elkin a tour of his residence, "something he does not do," the minister said.
Elkin added that "the continuity of good relations has been agreed upon. As someone who has attended all the meetings over the past decade, the level of intimacy between has been among the warmest I can remember. The president emphasized his sympathetic attitude toward Israel. "It does not happen in the first meetings."
Putin: "Special relations between countries"
At the beginning of the meeting, Bennett stressed that "relations with Russia, which we are currently marking 30 years to establish, are very special, both because of the past and because of the present and the future. We will also talk about the situation in Syria, the efforts to halt the Iranian military nuclear program." Based on the deep connection between the two countries, we consider you a true friend of the Jewish people. "
President Putin made it clear that his country "is making efforts to rebuild infrastructure in Syria. There are problematic issues to discuss. Relations between the countries are special. I hope you will continue the same policy towards Russia despite the political problems in Israel."