Putin expects 'constructive' cooperation with new Israeli PM
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday congratulated the new Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and expressed hope for "constructive" cooperation after an alliance of parties ousted Benjamin Netanyahu.
"I expect that your work at the helm of the government will faciliate a further development of constructive bilateral cooperation along all directions," Putin said in a message released by the Kremlin.
"No doubt it is in the vital interests of our people," Putin said, adding that Russia-Israeli cooperation would help strengthen "peace, security and stability in the Middle East."
Bennett, a far right-wing Jewish nationalist and former tech millionaire, takes over at the helm of an Israeli government pieced together by an eight-party coalition.
Their alliance ended Netanyahu's 12 years in power.
Netanyahu, 71, boasted of his friendship with Putin and was a frequent guest in Russia.
Israel is considered the only Russophone country outside of the former Soviet Union, with hundreds of thousands of dual nationals living in the country.