President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, colleagues, friends. Let me wish you a warm welcome. It is a pleasure to receive the President of Israel here in Moscow.
Our countries have a longstanding relationship that we have built on the basis of friendship and understanding. Our special relationship is also rooted in the fact that people from the former Soviet Union, people who speak Russian, share our culture and mentality, and maintain ties with their relatives and friends in Russia, account for nearly 1.5 million of Israel’s population. This of course lends our relationship a special dimension.
Furthermore, the number of people from Russia making pilgrimages to the holy sites is also growing. The Israeli authorities have been helpful here, returning to Russia sacred things we hold dear, and we are very grateful to our Israeli partners for this.
There are a good many trade and economic matters on our agenda, and matters regarding security in the region. I hope that I will have the chance soon to discuss all of this with the Prime Minister [Benjamin Netanyahu], with whom we have agreed on a meeting.
Mr President, I wish you welcome.
President of Israel Reuven Rivlin (retranslated): As President of the State of Israel, it is a great honour for me to be here in your country.
Relations between Israel and Russia go back a long way. We work together in many different fields, in culture, commerce, and matters concerning the Holocaust. We also need to work together to fight fundamentalist terror.
The Israeli people will never forget Russia’s contribution to the victory over Nazism. The Jews, who might not have survived, will never forget who liberated them, and that the first to free them were the soldiers of the Red Army.
Once more, I thank you for this reception and hope we will have a constructive conversation.