WASHINGTON - Israel has purposefully remained silent while Russia amasses forces near its northern border and works intensively to help Bashar Assad’s regime, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu explained in a recent interview with CNN.
When asked why Israel hasn’t condemned the Russian invasion to Crimea, Netanyahu replied that Israel has enough problems and it wasn’t interested in opening up another front.
Netanyahu said that of course, Israel does not support these actions by Russia, including the past week’s actions in Syria in these comments.
But, he added, Israel is aware of the fact that it has a Russian border now. Israel is a small, strong country, Netanyahu said, and it needs to make sure it doesn’t enter any unnecessary conflicts.
Netanyahu mentioned his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin last month, which ended with the two agreeing on coordination of military activity in Syria's skies, saying that he went to Moscow in order to clarify the point that the two countries should avoid entering a conflict with each other.
Netanyahu said that he and Putin share a mutual respect, but that doesn’t mean they have matching interests. He mentioned that the relationship Israel has with Russia is not the same as its relationship wih the United States, but that it’s nonetheless important to prevent a conflict from erupting.