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Russia takes Israeli security interests into account, hopes for reciprocity — diplomat

Anatoly Viktorov underscored that Moscow proves its words by deeds

TEL AVIV, February 18. /TASS/. Russia has always taken Israel’s security interests into account, and hopes for reciprocity in this regard, Russian Ambassador to Israel Anatoly Viktorov has told Jerusalem Post.

"We, publicly and through diplomatic channels, signaled to the Israeli authorities that we are taking seriously the legitimate security concerns of Israel," the ambassador said in an interview, published on Friday.

He underscored that Moscow proves its words by deeds.

"We are very attentive to all requests coming from the Israeli side, and we are ready to continue these discussions," the Russian diplomat continued. "In this context and against this background, we hope that the Israeli government will act accordingly and take into account the security concerns of Russia."

In this regard, Viktorov noted that bilateral cooperation was particularly important in the context of the Syrian conflict.

"It is not a secret that Russia is categorically against turning the Syrian territory into an arena of confrontation between third countries, and that is why we publicly even condemn the Israeli strikes on Syrian territory," the ambassador added.

At the same time, the defense ministries of Russia and Israel have created a mechanism of communication on Syria.

"It was established some time ago, and it is successfully functioning these days despite all the speculations, because it is in the security interests of Russia and Israel," the diplomat said.

In his words, this mechanism prevents dangerous escalation in Syria and helps to save lives.

"Our pilots are flying over the territory of Syria, and there is a mutual understanding [that they will not be at risk]," he said. "But that does not mean that we support or approve of Israeli military strikes in Syria.".