MOSCOW, Sep 12 – RIA News. Direct contact with President Vladimir Putin prevented a clash between Russia and Israel in Syria. This was in an interview with RBC Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in anticipation of negotiations with the Russian leader in Sochi.

According to Netanyahu, direct contacts with Putin are most valuable to him. "This is what helped to prevent a clash – frankly, almost inevitable, because of the contradiction between the tasks of the Russian Air Force and our military operations during the operation in Syria," the prime minister said.

These contacts also contribute to the development of mutually beneficial economic ties between Russia and Israel, he added.

“This coordination is possible only because I and President Putin respect each other. We really speak on equal terms, openly, without any neglect. We speak directly, calling things by their proper names,” Netanyahu concluded.

Negotiations Putin with Netanyahu are scheduled for Thursday. According to the Kremlin’s press service, the meeting will address issues of further development of bilateral cooperation, and the leaders of the two countries will exchange views on the situation in the Middle East.

The office of the head of the Israeli government noted that Putin and Netanyahu plan to discuss "regional issues, including the situation in Syria, with an emphasis on strengthening mechanisms for military coordination."

Since autumn 2015, a communications mechanism has been operating between Russia and Israel, which is designed to protect them from accidental clashes and other dangerous incidents during operations in Syria. It is based on the line of operational communication between the Russian Khmeimim air base in Syria and the Israeli command and staff complex Kiriya in Tel Aviv.

Debugging the interaction mechanisms and procedures used by the Russian and Israeli military has gained particular relevance after the death of the reconnaissance aircraft Il-20 of the Russian Air Force, which was accidentally shot down by Syrian air defense on September 17 when repelling an Israeli air raid.

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