By Burc Eruygur
ISTANBUL (AA) - The Kremlin said on Monday that it is not in favor of disclosing details regarding the March 2022 talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
"Putin and Bennett had a very intensive dialogue during the latter's tenure as Israeli prime minister," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said during a weekly briefing, noting that the two leaders "often communicated, there was both personal communication and telephone conversations."
Peskov further said that, in addition to bilateral relations, the topic of Moscow’s “special military operation" was on the agenda of discussions between Putin and Bennett, and that the two leaders devoted more than one hour to discussing this topic alone.
“But you know that we are not in favor of disclosing the details of the negotiations between the heads of state. We do not want to do this now. Therefore, I will neither refute nor confirm what Mr. Bennett said," Peskov also noted.
Bennett said in an interview with local media early on Sunday that Putin gave him assurances during mediatory talks in March 2022 that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy would not be killed by Russia.
Peskov also refrained from commenting on an incident in the US, where a Chinese “spy” balloon was shot down on Saturday by the US Air Force, saying: “This is probably more of an issue for Sino-American relations.”
Peskov further ruled out any talks between Putin and IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi next week.
"Grossi is waiting in Russia for his colleagues from the state company Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs," Peskov said, adding that other ministries and departments can be involved if necessary.
He also touched on the 7.7 magnitude earthquake that hit southern Türkiye earlier in the day, noting that Russian technologies to determine the viability of buildings after earthquakes and other assistance can be provided to the country if Ankara asks for it.
At least 1,014 people were killed and 7,003 others were injured in 10 provinces after a strong earthquake jolted southern Türkiye on Monday morning, according to the country's disaster agency AFAD.