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Elkin: Russia Understands our Red Lines

Despite outward appearances, Russia understands and respects Israeli ‘red lines’ on Iran, Syria, deputy FM says.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 6/12/2013, 11:10 AM

Deputy Foreign Minister Ze'ev Elkin
Deputy Foreign Minister Ze'ev Elkin
Flash 90

Despite public disagreements over Iran’s nuclear program, Russia and Israel are more or less on the same page, Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin told Arutz Sheva.

Israel and Russia essentially agree on containing Iran, he said, and disagree only on the preferred method for doing so. Israel believes in taking a firm stance, while Russia prefers to use incentives, he said. “But there is definite understanding of our red lines regarding Iran,” he added.

The same is true regarding Syria, he said, “The Syrians and the Russians both know what Israel considers critical.”

Elkin is currently visiting Moscow. When asked about his meetings with senior Russian officials and talks regarding Russia’s weapon sales to Syria, Elkin said, “Things said in closed rooms need to stay in closed rooms” – but added, “The dialog has not been in vain.”

Elkin also spoke about his recent visit to Italy. Italian officials were surprisingly sympathetic to Israel’s situation, he said.

They realize that as long as the Palestinian Authority has reason to hope it can pressure Israel into one-sided concessions, there is no hope to convince the PA to come to the negotiating table, he reported.