Netanyahu lands in Sochi ahead of meeting with Putin

PM to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin twice Thursday afternoon and evening to strengthen coordination in Syria.

Ido Ben Porat - Russia ,

Netanyahu lands in Sochi, Russia
Netanyahu lands in Sochi, Russia
Ido Ben Porat

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu landed in Sochi Thursday ahead of his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu.

The purpose of the meetings is to tighten the military coordination mechanisms between the IDF and the Russian army, as part of Israel's efforts to prevent Iranian consolidation in Syria.

Netanyahu and Defense Minister Shoygu will meet at 4 PM at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. He will then leave for the Bocharov Ruchey residence to meet with President Putin.

The prime minister will meet the Russian president a second time for dinner at the Bocharov Ruchey at 6 PM.

Prime Minister Netanyahu told reporters before leaving for Russia Thursday: "This is a very important journey at the present time. We are working on several arenas to ensure Israel's security against Iran's attempts and metastases to attack us in the Syrian arena. This is a key arena and it is important for us to preserve the IDF's freedom of action against Iranian, Hezbollah and other targets. The common goal we agree on, which is far from being achieved, is the removal of all Iranian forces from Syria."

"This visit is a periodic visit," he continued. “I do not stop dealing with Israel's security because of the elections, and Iran does not stop its attempts to harm us. I am attentive to Israel's security needs during an election period as well.”

He also addressed American conduct against Iran. "President Trump imposed harsh sanctions on Iran two days ago. If the US and the President want to change their policies, I'm sure they will do so under the same policy of pressure and various demands from Iran. I conveyed all the required messages on the issue through the direct pipelines to President Trump and his advisers."