Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spent three hours with Russian President Vladimir Putin at his residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Tuesday, May, 14. He came for a last-ditch attempt to head off the supply of advanced Russian anti-air S-300 missile systems to Syria. Instead, the Russian leader turned the conversation around to focus implicitly on Israel’s air strikes against Damascus on May 3 and May 5. After their conversation he issued a warning: “In this crucial period it is especially important to avoid any moves that can shake the situation.”
This was clearly a hands-off caution to Israel not to repeat its attacks on Damascus. And, furthermore, after “shaking the situation” in Syria by its air attacks, Israel was in no position to demand that Russia avoid selling Syria advanced weapons.
The prime minister, for his part, warned that the entire Middle East was in a dangerous state of volatility.
He was accompanied by Israeli Military Intelligence Chief Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi. Opposite him sat Mikhail Fradkov, SVR Director.
Kochavi laid before the Russian leader the information Israel had gathered on the state of Syria’s chemical weapons with relevance to their transfer to the Lebanese Hizballah.
Before Netanyahu’s arrival for the meeting, Moscow took two preparatory steps: