Bennett returns from surprise trip to Russia amid Ukraine war

PM lands in Israel and is expected to convene his cabinet later in the day; Bennett's visit to the Kremlin appears to be latest attempt at mediation between Moscow and Kyiv; visit said to have been made in coordination with U.S. and Ukraine
Associated Press, Ynet|
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has returned from a surprise trip to Russia where he met President Vladimir Putin and discussed the war in Ukraine.
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  • Bennett flew to Moscow on Saturday, where he met the Russian leader at the Kremlin for three hours. The trip was made "in coordination and with the blessing" of the Biden administration as well as Kyiv, according to Bennett's office.
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    בנט נחת בברלין
    בנט נחת בברלין
    Prime Minister Naftali Bennett landing in Berlin
    Bennett spoke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy after his meeting with Putin. He then flew to Germany to meet Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
    The prime minister landed in Israel on Sunday morning and is expected to convene his cabinet for its weekly meeting later in the day.
    Bennett's trip was the latest attempt at diplomacy in the Russia-Ukraine crisis. Israel is one of the few countries that has good working relations with both Russia and Ukraine.
    2 View gallery
    ראש הממשלה נפתלי בנט עם קנצלר גרמניה אולף שולץ בברלין
    ראש הממשלה נפתלי בנט עם קנצלר גרמניה אולף שולץ בברלין
    Bennett with Chancellor Olaf Scholz
    (Photo: EPA)
    Israel, at the behest of Zelensky, has offered to mediate in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, though officials have previously played down expectations of any breakthrough.
    Israel has delivered humanitarian aid to Ukraine, but also maintains ties with Moscow to make sure that Israeli and Russian warplanes do not come into conflict in neighboring Syria.
    Bennett's meeting with Putin makes him the first Western leader to meet with the Russian president since Moscow's offensive began last Thursday. The Russian assault is the biggest offensive on a European state since World War II.
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