Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu explained Russia’s possible interests in cooperating with Israel on Thursday during a discussion organized by a New York-based think tank.
“I think Russia has variegated interests. The first interest is to make sure militant Islam does not penetrate and destabilize Russia.”
Netanyahu addressed the crowd gathered for the Hudson Institute’s annual gala at the iconic Plaza Hotel.
“There are many many millions of Muslims in Russia, including in greater Moscow, I think it’s up to two million. And the concern that Russia has, which many countries have is that these populations would be radicalized… First thing is, block militant islam at its source, especially the Daesh [Islamic State] phenomenon. For that they make strange alliances,” he added.
Russian president Vladimir Putin has hosted the Israeli leader three times in the last year, during which the two leaders agreed they want to avoid a clash with each other, Netanyahu said.