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Security and demography will boost Israel-Russia ties

Friday, July 20, 2018

Significance

This followed the Trump-Putin Helsinki summit at which the two leaders discussed Israel’s concerns over the threat from Iran, as the Syrian government regains control over its southern border. As part of his anti-Tehran policy, Netanyahu has repeatedly sought to influence Russia, arguably assisted by a broader improvement of relations between the two publics and governments on the back of the mass flow of immigrants (‘olim’) from the former Soviet Union (FSU) to Israel in 1990-2010.

Impacts

  • Despite growing economic ties, Moscow is unlikely to seek to use oil exports or business regulations as leverage over Israeli policy.
  • Immigrants from Russia will be more hawkish than the rest of the population on Israeli-Palestinian issues.
  • Russian-origin Israelis will not use their influence to encourage Israel to acquiesce in Russian support for Iranian allies in Syria.
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