Netanyahu Attends Military Parade in Moscow, Meets With Putin [WATCH]

May 9, 2018

2 min read

On Wednesday morning, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took an unscheduled trip to Russia that coincided with the Moscow Victory Day Parade celebrating the 73rd anniversary of the Soviet Union Army’s victory over Nazi Germany in World War II, one of the most important days in the Russian calendar.  

A guest of the Russian president at the massive military display in Red Square, Netanyahu suddenly found himself surrounded by 14,000 Russian troops as well as 159 combat vehicles and 78 aircraft.

In an ironic twist, Netanyahu was treated to a showcase flyover of the new Sukhoi Su-57 fighter jets that made their combat debut in the skies over Syria two months ago.

“I am excited to participate as a guest of honor of President Vladimir Putin in the victory parade over Nazi Germany, today in Moscow. I salute from here our heroic veterans!” Netanyahu tweeted.
Serbian President Alexander Vujcic was also a guest at the parade.
After the military parade, Netanyahu took part in a ceremony at the memorial for unknown soldiers.

Netanyahu accompanied Putin at a reception at the Kremlin with dozens of Russian war veterans.

Urgent Politics

Before leaving Israel, Netanyahu made a video explaining the reason for his trip.

“Our meetings are always important, and this one is especially so,” he said in Hebrew. “Given what is happening now in Syria, it is important to ensure the continued security coordination between the Russian army and the Israel Defense Forces.”

The need for military coordination between Israel and Russia was underscored Tuesday night when a military site south of Damascus was attacked, reportedly killing nine pro-Iranian fighters at the site identified as an Iranian military base. Syrian media blamed Israel for the attack though the Israeli government typically does not comment on military activity outside of its borders.

Iran has been increasing its influence in Syria and recently began establishing military bases in the country. Israel and Iran had their first direct military contact with each other in February when an Iranian drone armed with missiles entered Israeli airspace. Israeli Air Force helicopters shot it down and an airstrike was launched against the Iranian base in Syria which controlled the drone.

Russia has a significant military presence in Syria including an airbase supporting the regime of President Bashar al-Assad putting the superpower in the middle of any conflict between Israel and the Iranian military in Syria.

Putin and Netanyahu also discussed US President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal with Iran. Netanyahu was completely supportive of Trump’s decision, calling it “a historic move” made by “courageous leadership.”

The Russian government was displeased with Trump’s move, calling it “a new confirmation of Washington’s incompetence.”

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