Wait, why are US sanctions up to Netanyahu in the first place?
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday. Early reports are suggesting Netanyahu is going to offer a major trade with an eye toward getting Russia to kick the Iranians out of Syria.
This trade, as reported by the Israeli press, would have Netanyahu offering to see Russia given full relief from US-imposed sanctions in return for Russia expelling Iranian military from Syria. Russia has previously told Israel they don’t have the capability of doing so, and that the Iranian presence is up to Syria.
It’s less discussed in the media reports, but it’s also not clear that Netanyahu could deliver his side of this exchange either. Israel, after all, is not driving US sanctions against Russia, and presumably could not immediately demand and secure full sanction relief.
This meeting comes a week before Putin will meet President Trump, and Netanyahu may try to use his close ties to Trump as an advantage in the Wednesday talks. Still, it is impossible to ignore the questions of whether either side can deliver what the other wants, and may make the reported trade a very difficult issue to approach.