Russia's Prime Minister to Visit Israel in Bid to Bolster Ties

Announcement of Dmitry Medvedev's November 10 visit made in honor of 25th anniversary of restoration of diplomatic relations between Israel and Russia.

ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid
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Meeting of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow, in February 2010.
Meeting of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow, in February 2010.Credit: Amos Ben Gershom / GPO
ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will visit Israel on November 10, the Russian embassy in Tel Aviv announced on Tuesday.

The announcement was made in honor of the 25th anniversary of the restoration of diplomatic relations between the two countries, which fell on Tuesday. It said Medvedev’s visit will focus on bolstering bilateral economic cooperation.

The embassy statement noted that diplomatic dialogue between the two countries had intensified this year, as reflected in a series of meetings between senior officials, President Reuven Rivlin’s visit to Moscow, two visits to Moscow by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and five telephone conversations between Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Over the years, our two countries and our two peoples have managed to end the regrettable period of mutual distance and become real partners who understand and know how to respect each other’s interests,” the statement said.

It also said that talks would begin in Kaliningrad next month on the issue of Israel joining the EurAsian Economic Community’s free trade zone – a framework that includes Russia and several other former Soviet republics. A pension agreement between the two countries is now in the process of being ratified, it added, and once ratification is complete, Russia will begin paying pensions to Israelis who lost their stipend when they moved from Russia to Israel.

“The relationship between Israel and Russia has a special character, mainly because Israel is the home of more than a million of our countrymen,” the statement said. “The Russian-speaking community is a powerful catalyst for the development of diplomatic, economic and cultural relations... Russia attributes great importance to restoring the historic Russian presence in the Holy Land, and the Sergei Courtyard in Jerusalem is currently undergoing restoration.

A main reason why Israeli-Russian relations have grown closer over the last year is the entry of Russian forces into Syria’s civil war. The two countries established a mechanism for military coordination to prevent incidents between their air forces and navies, and talks on this issue take place at the highest levels.

In June, Netanyahu visited Moscow, where he and Putin celebrated the 25th anniversary of the restoration of relations at a festive concert in the Bolshoi Theater

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