P.M Bennett flew to Moscow met Putin in the Kremlin and flies to Germany to mediate

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by Ifi Reporter Category:Politics Mar 5, 2022

Tonight (Saturday), Prime Minister Naftali Bennett flew from Moscow to Berlin to meet with German Chancellor Olaf Schultz. This, after meeting for more than 3 hours with the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin. 

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett flew secretly to Moscow early Saturday morning, and is currently in the Kremlin with Russian President Vladimir Putin as part of his attempt to mediate a diplomatic solution to end the war in Ukraine.
Bennett is the first Western leader to meet with Putin since the beginning of the Russian invasion ten days ago, although some of them did talk to him on the phone. The report of the meeting was first published by the Reuters news agency, quoting a Kremlin spokesman. About half an hour later, Bennett's office issued an official statement confirming the report.
About ten minutes before 7 p.m., it was reported that Bennett was now scheduled to meet with Putin, and that the meeting would continue even after two and a half hours. The meeting is also attended by Minister of Construction and Housing Zeev Elkin, who is assisting with the translation with Putin, as he has done in the past in Israeli prime ministers' meetings with Putin. Elkin, it will be recalled, is a native of Kharkov, Ukraine, and his family members are now at the heart of the fighting.
The Prime Minister's Office noted that Bennett, who observes Shabbat, flew to Moscow in the early hours of Saturday morning, following his telephone conversation with Putin last Wednesday. An Israeli said that Bennett's trip to Moscow was made with the blessing of the US administration.
The dramatic encounter comes after Bennett's proposal to Putin in their recent talks to mediate the crisis, against the background of the fact that Israel is refraining from joining the harsh sanctions imposed by the West on Russia because of its invasion of Ukraine. On the other hand, it is also working to maintain good relations with the government in Kiev - to which it also sent a lot of humanitarian equipment this week. Before his secret flight to Moscow, Bennett had talked to Putin twice since the beginning of the Russian invasion, at least publicly.
The same phone call on Wednesday between Bennett and Putin took place about two hours after Bennett also spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zlansky. A statement issued by the Kremlin after the talks said it was initiated by Israel. According to the statement, Putin told Bennett that the key to ending the crisis is to safeguard Russia's security interests, including Ukraine's disarmament and neutralization of the conflict between Moscow and the West. Simultaneously with the same phone call, Israel voted in favor of condemning Russia at the UN General Assembly, but Bennett himself has not yet condemned Russia in his own words.
Last Thursday, Bennett addressed the crisis, calling on world leaders to act quickly to find a diplomatic solution to its end. He noted the numerous destruction and killings in the fighting now - without explicitly mentioning Russia's bombing of Ukraine's populated areas - adding: "It is not too late. It is the responsibility of the world's major players to act quickly to get both sides off the battlefield." Bennett added that "things are looking bad on the ground at the moment, but it is important to understand that if world leaders do not act quickly - it could be much worse."

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