Ehud Olmert failed to get Russia’s president to agree to stop selling anti-aircraft missile systems to Iran.
Olmert and Dmitry Medvedev met Tuesday in Moscow during a trip aimed at discouraging Russia from the “irresponsible transfer of arms to elements that worry us,” the outgoing Israeli prime minister said in a statement.
The trip, which was scheduled two months ago before Olmert resigned, may be one of his last international forays before a successor takes over.
Olmert arrived in Moscow early Monday and met with cabinet officials including Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who said that Russia was committed to preventing Iranian access to nuclear weapons.
Lavrov told Olmert that Russia intended to increase its role in international efforts blocking any nuclear weapons program in Iran, Interfax reported.
During Russia’s war with Georgia, Russia’s military officials cast a stern eye on Israel-backed training and supply of defensive weapons to Georgia’s armed forces. This increased fears that Russia would retaliate by supplying the Iranians with S-300 missile systems designed to counter air attacks on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Lavrov also pushed for a greater role for Russia in possible peace talks with Syria, stressing the country’s role as a member of the Quartet. Syria may have requested the same anti-aircraft systems as Iran, the Jerusalem Post reported. Lavrov said Moscow had some interest in selling only defensive weapons to Syria.