By M K Bhadrakumar Asia Times 21 June , 2012
The two-day state visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Israel next week will raise eyebrows. Plainly put, it comes a little too early in his presidency - he took over the office as recently as May 7 - but underscores the Russian leader's sense of priority regarding Russia-Israel relations.
Its timing comes at a juncture when the two countries are apparently far apart with regard to critical issues of regional security in the Middle East - Syria and Iran - and it seems improbable that the hiatus could be bridged easily anytime soon. Yet, Putin is returning to Israel for a second visit after a gap of seven years, and he is after all a transactional, results-oriented politician. for more