During the cabinet meeting this morning (Friday), Prime Minister Naftali Bennett spoke about his lengthy meeting on Friday with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which was also attended by Housing and Construction Minister Ze’ev Elkin.
Bennett said: ” After four hours in a meeting with Putin, Elkin fell asleep because we did not sleep all night, we had a ‘white night’ on the flight. So I give him an elbow and Putin laughs and says, ‘I see you weren’t on call with him.'”
Elkin remarked with a smile: “Sorry, when you started to fall asleep you asked for a cup of coffee – I was not even offered a glass of water.”
Economy Minister Orna Barbivai wondered about the bag Elkin was holding in his hands on his way to the meeting in Sochi. “There were classified materials in the bag, and we cannot take them by hand because we were photographed,” Minister Elkin replied.
At the beginning of the cabinet meeting, the Prime Minister said: “We landed a few hours ago from Sochi, Russia, for a week full of significant, reality-changing decisions. The meeting with President Putin was very good and very in-depth, and I would like to thank Minister Elkin for his exceptional work, both in the preparation for the meeting and during it.”
“President Putin and I talked about the situation in Syria, of course, because in a sense the Russians are our neighbors to the north, and it is important that we manage the delicate and complex situation there smoothly and without incident.
Bennett added: “We have reached good and stable conclusions, and I found that President Putin’s ear is attentive to Israel’s security needs. We also talked about the Iranian nuclear program, which is a cause for concern for everyone.”