Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Sochi, Russia, Thursday Sept. 12, 2019. (Shamil Zhumatov/Pool Photo via AP)

MOSCOW (AP) — Ahead of Israel's early parliamentary election next week, Russian President Vladimir Putin says the Kremlin has an interest in who wins power.

Putin spoke Thursday at the opening of a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the southern Russian city of Sochi.

Putin says "over 1½ million immigrants from the Soviet Union live in Israel. We always considered them our people, compatriots. And, of course, we are not indifferent to what kind of people will come into the Israeli parliament."

The Israeli leader said coordination with Russia's military was important because of Russia's presence in Syria. Netanyahu says "over the past month we have seen a sharp increase in Iran's attempts to use the territory of Syria to attack us."

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu enter the hall during their meeting in Sochi, Russia, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019. (Shamil Zhumatov/Pool Photo via AP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu talk during their meeting in Sochi, Russia, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019. (Shamil Zhumatov/Pool Photo via AP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu enter the hall during their meeting in Sochi, Russia, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019. (Shamil Zhumatov/Pool Photo via AP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, welcomes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during their meeting in Sochi, Russia, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019. (Shamil Zhumatov/Pool Photo via AP)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Russia, Thursday Sept. 12, 2019. (Shamil Zhumatov/Pool Photo via AP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin, center right, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu talk during their meeting in Sochi, Russia, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019. (Shamil Zhumatov/Pool Photo via AP)