Russia considers Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman as "one of its own" – according to a document authored by the American embassy in Moscow following the minister's visit to the capital in June 2009.
According to the report, Russian officials understood from Lieberman that Israel has no intention of attacking Iran.
Official Israeli delegate Yuval Fuchs explained to the Americans that the meetings between Lieberman and Moscow's political echelon were held in Russian, and included anecdotes about the capital city. "He acted like an old friend," Fuchs noted, adding that the Russians on their part welcomed Lieberman as if they had already met him before.
Despite the chummy atmosphere, it is too early to tell whether Lieberman's personable diplomacy style will have a significant effect on the relations between the two countries.
According to the leaked document, Lieberman met with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, who expressed satisfaction that Israel limited its arms sale to Georgia to defensive weapons, but expressed concern that other countries might be supplying the rival with offensive arms.
Lavrov also expressed concern over Georgia's joint military drills with NATO, claiming it might encourage the Tbilisi government to go on "another adventure."
The Russian foreign minister agreed to consider Lieberman's request, according to which Russian officials will visit kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit, who is held in Hamas captivity.
The document also contained many of Lavrov's statements, as expressed by Fuchs, which included harsh criticism on the US's influence over the stability of the Middle East.
Lavrov claimed that the US's invasion to Iraq was like "a gift for Iran," and that the American decision to isolate Syria was an obstacle in the way of achieving a comprehensive Mideast agreement.
In addition, Lavrov clearly stated that the US's refusal to listen to Russia – which he claimed opposed holding elections in the Palestinian Authority – is "what eventually led to Hamas's take over of the Gaza Strip and the strengthening of Iran's regional status."
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