Putin and Netanyahu
Putin and Netanyahu Chaim Tzach/GPO

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met Wednesday with Russian President Vladirmir Putin in Moscow.

The meeting was the first between the two leaders since the downing of a Russian military aircraft by Syrian air defenses in September. The Russian defense ministry blamed Israel for the incident.

"The biggest threat to stability and security of the region is Iran, and we will do everything to prevent this threat," Netanyahu said in his opening remarks.

The prime minister stated that Israel-Russian relations have prevented a further military escalation in Syria. "I have counted 11 meetings between us since September 2016. The direct link between us is a layer that prevented friction between our armies and contributed to security and stability in the region."

"I want to thank you for your friendship and for the direct, open and true way in which we maintain the connection between Russia and Israel," Netanyahu told Putin.

He invited the Russian president to the inauguration of a Memorial in Jerusalem Commemorating the victims of the siege of Leningrad in World War Two, adding that Israel would "never forget" the sacrifices Russia made in fighting back against the Nazis.

Putin told him, "I will come," adding that "for us, the memory of those who were killed in World War Two is very important, and it is very important that we continue the cooperation between us. Russia was a partner in supporting the establishment of Israel."