Speed Reads

face to face

Israeli prime minister meets with Putin in Moscow

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Saturday to discuss the war in Ukraine, Reuters reports. According to The Times of Israel, the two leaders spoke for three hours and also discussed ongoing talks aimed at restoring the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Belarusian news outlet Nexta reported on Feb. 25 — the day after the invasion began — that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had asked Bennett to mediate between Russia and Ukraine. The request was not granted, and the two countries instead held unproductive talks on the border between Russia and Ukraine.

On the day of the invasion, Bennett tweeted that "our hearts are with the citizens of Ukraine." On Wednesday, Israel voted in favor of a United Nations resolution condemning Russia's invasion.

Per Reuters, Bennett's spokesperson said that although Jewish law prohibits traveling further than 2,000 cubits — approximately one kilometer — on the Sabbath, the Orthodox prime minister flew to Moscow because longer journeys are permitted if the goal is the preservation of human life.

Bennett will next fly to Berlin to meet with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz before returning to Israel, the Times reports.