Benjamin Netanyahu
Photo: Avi Ohayon, GPO
Kremlin source: Netanyahu made secret trip to Moscow
Despite previous denial by Russian government, Moscow source confirms visit by Israeli prime minister in early September, adding it focused on arms deals with Iran, Syria. Keeping visit a secret was Jerusalem's idea, says source

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a secret visit to Russia last week, a senior Kremlin source confirmed Friday.


"The Israelis were the ones who wanted to keep this visit a secret and Moscow obliged," said the source.


The visit, he said, focused on Russia's arms deals with Syrian and Iran.


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So far, Russian officials denied that the visit – or any meeting between Netanyahu and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin – had taken place.


Netanyahu's visit to Russia, which came in the midst of conflicting reports that Israel may had been involved in the disappearance of the Arctic Sea – a cargo ship supposedly seized by pirates and later believed to be carrying a shipment of S-300 anti-aircraft missiles bound for Iran – sparked a media mayhem.


Russia vehemently denied the Arctic Sea was carrying sophisticated and arms shipment, with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov saying "the rumors are absolutely groundless.'


In early September, a Ynet investigation revealed that the Russian government had ordered the "hijacking" after learning it was violating international accords by carrying "destabilizing" arms to Syria or Iran.


פרסום ראשון: 09.18.09, 17:19
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