Netanyahu: We Don't Want an Adversarial Relationship with Russia | Military.com
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu says Israel wants to avoid an adversarial relationship with Moscow and is unsure how Russia's recent military intervention in Syria will affect the situation there.
Netanyahu"s comments were made in an interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria, which will air on Sunday and of which Reuters quoted excerpts on Saturday.
In the interview, Netanyahu did not join the United States and other NATO nations in criticizing Russia's taking military action in Syria.
"We don't want to go back to the days when, you know, Russia and Israel were in an adversarial position," he said, adding, "I think we've changed the relationship. And it's, on the whole, good."
Russia is a backer of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, who is also is backed by Iran, Israel's ardent foe and supporter of Hezbollah. Netanyahu noted that Israel is concerned that Russian weapons being deployed in Syria could end up with Hezbollah.
"I went to Moscow to make it clear that we should avoid a clash between Russian forces and Israeli forces," he was quoted as having told Zakaria.
"In Syria, I've defined my goals. They're to protect the security of my people and my country. Russia has different goals. But they shouldn't clash," continued Netanyahu, adding Israel and Russia would talk soon about the situation.
Russia this past week conducted its first airstrikes in Syria. An Israeli military source told Arutz Sheva that Israel, too, had been notified in advance, via a mechanism reached between Jerusalem and Moscow during Netanyahu's recent meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Asked by Zakaria if Russia's entry in the Syrian conflict would be destabilizing, Netanyahu said, "I don't know. I think time will tell."
Netanyahu signaled that Russian deployment would not deter Israel from continuing to take occasional military action in Syria.
"If anybody wants to use Syrian territory to transfer nuclear weapons to Hezbollah, we'll take action," "And we continue to do that."