Herzog and Viktorov
Herzog and Viktorov Kobi Gideon/Flash 90

Israel's President Isaac Herzog held a meeting with Russia's Ambassador to Israel, Anatoly Viktorov on Tuesday.

"We are happy and proud of the relations between the State of Israel and Russia. The support and cooperation between the two countries is very important to us and so is the deep connection between the peoples. We're grateful to President Putin for his support and involvement in a number of issues critical to the State of Israel including the return of Israeli captives [held by Hamas]," said Herzog in his remarks.

The Russian ambassador thanked Herzog and backed expanded cooperation in the fight against the Coronavirus. He also noted that this year will mark the thirtieth anniversary of the resumption of diplomatic relations between Russia and Israel, along with the fact that the USSR was amongst the first to establish ties with the State of Israel upon its formation.

In July, pro-Syria news outlets in Lebanon reported that Moscow had changed its position with regards to Israeli attacks in Syria.

A "well-informed" Russian source was quoted by the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper as saying that Russia had "run out of patience" with Israel's strikes "...after receiving the impression that "Washington did not welcome the continuous raids."

The report added that as a result of this impression, Russia was now supplying the Syrian army with more advanced anti-missile systems, to aid them in shooting down Israeli armaments.

In addition, another senior Russian source told the same periodical his country has begun helping the Syrian government "close its airspace to Israeli planes" adding that the decision "[was] directly connected to the summit between President Putin and President Biden last month."

According to the reports, the communication channel for early coordination between Israel and Russian security forces in Syria no longer exists, since it operated as a result of the close connection between former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Putin, who saw eye-to-eye with Netanyahu on the issue of preventing Iran's entrenchment in the country.

A senior Russian official was further quoted by Lebanese media as saying that, "the early coordination with Israel ended the moment the new government was formed and Netanyahu resigned from office." "You could say that today our connection with Israeli forces...is completely concrete and interest-based," he went on to say.

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