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Trump administration creates new calculus for US-Russia-Israel triangle


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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (front right) and his wife Sara (left) with Russian President Vladimir Putin (center) at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow June 7, 2016.

Trump administration creates new calculus for US-Russia-Israel triangle
 

By Ariel Ben Solomon/JNS.org

Israel’s relations with Russia remain friendly and pragmatic, yet full of tension, in the early days of America’s Trump era. Following President Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric on seeking rapprochement with Russia, his administration signaled its willingness to cooperate with Russia in the fight against Islamic State in Syria. A measuring stick for shifting American-Russian ties could be the positive working relationship between Israel and Russia, despite the disagreements in the latter relationship over Moscow’s support for Israeli enemies like Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah. Yuri Teper, an expert on Russia and a postdoctoral fellow at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said that Israel’s relations with Russia “it seems, for the most part, are handled with mutual understanding of each other’s interests.” But Anna Borshchevskaya, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said, “While [Russian President Vladimir] Putin did bring Russia closer to Israel over the years, it was always for purely pragmatic reasons.”

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