Ehud Olmert will travel to Russia for top-level talks about Iran’s nuclear program.
The Israeli prime minister is scheduled to make a one-day visit to Moscow on Thursday at the behest of Russian President Vladimir Putin, himself freshly returned from a summit with his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
“The prime minister intends to discuss with the Russian president a series of regional issues, including the peace process with the Palestinians and Iran’s threats and its attempt to equip itself with nuclear weapons,” the Prime Minister’s Office said.
Putin has called for a diplomatic solution to the standoff over Iran’s nuclear program and made clear he would oppose any preemptive military action by Israel or the United States.
Israeli political sources said Wednesday that Olmert would reiterate Israel’s concerns to the Russian president, as well as ask that Moscow scale back its defense ties with Iran and Syria.
The visit comes as U.N. Security Council members continue to haggle over a third round of sanctions against the Islamic Republic. The United States, Britain and France support more stringent measures to rein in Iran’s nuclear program, a move resisted by Russia and China.