Bibi goes to Moscow to get a deal before the election (Putin is due to step down in 2024 - unless he changes the rules for Presidential rule)
Five days before the snap parliamentary election, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to visit Moscow for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which are expected to focus on Syria, Kommersant writes. This may be the first time when the Israeli prime minister leaves the country in the run-up to the election, which will be crucial for his political future. According to experts, Netanyahu would not have decided on coming to Moscow if he hadn’t expected success at the talks, which could become an important trump card for him ahead of the polls.
Apparently, the Israeli prime minister seeks a breakthrough in Syria, Kommersant writes. Moscow wants an agreement on withdrawing foreign military from Syria, most notably US troops, and is not against Israel’s joining an effort on coordinating this pullout. However, Israel is among the supporters of maintaining the US presence in Syria, including at the Al-Tanf military base, in order to curb Iran’s moves. So, it is unclear whether Israel is ready for the proposed format of cooperation if no exact conditions on the departure of pro-Iranian forces from Syria are agreed on.
Amid the ongoing political struggle in Israel, the news about reaching a consensus on a deconfliction mechanism may be described by Netanyahu as Moscow’s carte blanche for continuing Israeli strikes on Syria, even if Russia does not really mean this. This "gift" ahead of the election may significantly strengthen Netanyahu’s positions, the paper writes.