The Trial: The St. Petersburg Metro Attack Reaches Court in Russia

By Kyle Orton (@KyleWOrton) and Oved Lobel on 14 July 2019

Abror Azimov in court in Moscow in April 2017 [photo source] and Mukhamadyusup Ermatov [photo source]

When defense officials from Russia, the U.S. and Israel met for an unprecedented trilateral summit in Jerusalem recently, it was in large measure another attempt by U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to put into practice their long-running belief that Russia will help them deal with Iran and perhaps other counter-terrorist issues in Syria.

As usual, the Russians refused — this time in rather direct language, rejecting point-blank the idea that Iran is “the main threat to regional security,” declaring rather that it was “contributing a lot to fighting terrorists,” lauding its “stabilizing” effect in Syria and reiterating that Tehran “was and remains our ally and partner.”

Their slap down seems to have made no difference, judging by the statement afterwards that all parties remain committed to finding “a way to make [Iran’s departure from Syria] happen.” Netanyahu declared that “security cooperation between Russia and Israel has already contributed much to the security and stability of our region.”

Finding common interests with the Kremlin on counterterrorism is a recurring notion in Western policy, and a commonly heard idea these days especially in Israeli official statements. But events in a Moscow courtroom last week underlined why Vladimir Putin‘s regime will never be a reliable partner.

Read the rest at Haaretz

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