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Russia in constant contact with Israel — Putin’s spokesman

April 15, 2015, 8:23 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, April 14. /TASS/. Russia is in constant contact with Israel, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday.

Peskov commented on today’s phone conversation between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which touched upon the cancelation by Moscow of its embargo on S-300 air defense missile systems deliveries to Iran.

Peskov said he can’t answer the question whether Russia notified Israel of preparing for such a decision. "But contacts are made with the Israeli side at different levels, dialogue is held, various issues are discussed," he said.

Putin’s conversation with Netanyahu

Earlier today, the Kremlin press service said Putin "had a telephone conversation with Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu on the initiative of the Israeli side."

"The two leaders exchanged views on the Russian President’s decision to lift the ban on shipments of S-300 air defense missile systems to Iran," the statement on the Kremlin website said.

"In connection with the concern expressed by Mr Netanyahu regarding the lifting of the embargo, Vladimir Putin explained the logic behind the actions of the Russian leadership in this situation," it said.

"In particular, he highlighted the fact that the tactical and technical specifications of the S-300 system make it a purely defensive weapon; therefore, it would not pose any threat to the security of Israel or other countries in the Middle East. The discussion also covered other pressing international and regional issues," the statement said.

Putin’s decree to lift ban on S-300 supplies to Iran

On Monday, Putin signed a decree to lift the ban on S-300 deliveries to Iran. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Monday Russia’s voluntary embargo on deliveries of S-300 missile systems to Iran is no longer needed due to progress in the resolution of the situation around Iran’s nuclear program.

He said that initially, the decision to suspend the implementation of the contract, which was already signed and came into force, was made in September 2010 to support consolidated efforts of the six international negotiators on Iran’s nuclear program to stimulate a maximally constructive process of talks.

This year, Lavrov said, the six international negotiators (P5+1), after a regular round of talks with Iran, stated on April 2 in Lausanne "substantial progress in settling [the problem around] Iran’s nuclear program."

The P5+1 is the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, and France - plus Germany.

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