MOSCOW, Feb. 17 (UPI) -- There is less interest in a stronger energy relationship with Russia because of large gas deposits off the Israeli coast, the Israeli prime minister said.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at the Kremlin Wednesday to mark the 65th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany.
Netanyahu in an interview with the Interfax news agency said his country was losing interest in Russian gas because of offshore developments closer to home.
"We discovered very large deposits of gas on the shore of the sea close to Israel, very large," he said. "So, whereas we had a very clear interest before in getting Russian gas, right now we are less enthusiastic because we simply found gas."
A joint U.S.-Israeli team announced last weekend they discovered more than 3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in deposits located about 55 miles off the coast of Haifa.
Meanwhile, the Israeli and Russian leaders issued a statement regarding the state of affairs in the world to commemorate their shared vision to tackle xenophobia.
"I look forward to seeing how we can advance peace and helping advance peace means helping roll back the enemies of peace," said the Israeli prime minister in a statement released by the Kremlin.