Mr Putin and Mr Netanyahu made press statements following the talks.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Ladies and gentlemen,
First of all, I want to thank Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and our Israeli colleagues for their hospitality and for this invitation.
This visit to Israel has once again reaffirmed for me that the strong ties of friendship binding our countries and peoples are not just words, but are a real and solid foundation upon which we are building fruitful political dialogue, a multifaceted partnership, successful bilateral cooperation and work together to help resolve the biggest issues facing the world.
We discussed in detail the full range of our bilateral relations today, giving particular attention to economic issues. I note that the active reciprocal efforts made by our government agencies and business communities have been successful in overcoming the temporary drop in our bilateral trade. Our trade increased by 10 percent last year and came to almost $3 billion – higher than the pre-crisis figures.
We and our Israeli colleagues intend to continue developing our economic ties, above all through big joint projects, including in important sectors such as the energy sector. Gazprom has good opportunities in this respect, and there are also good opportunities in the electricity sector, with our company INTER RAO UES and others.
There are good prospects for latest initiatives in the agribusiness sector. This is an area with strong potential for both countries. We are already carrying out projects to build livestock farming centres in Tambov Region and Stavropol Territory, and also an animal feed production plant in Rostov Region.
We have concrete results in the hi-tech sectors. RUSNANO, for example, has opened a subsidiary company in Israel and is working with its Israeli partners now to select promising projects. An Israeli company opened in Vladimir Russia’s first facility for manufacturing circuit boards for electronic devices using Israeli technology.
We have agreed to expand our cooperation in space exploration. Russian rockets will carry Israeli spacecraft into orbit, and our specialists are developing satellite communications systems for our Israeli partners.
There is a bright future for cooperation in medicine and pharmaceuticals. I am not merely talking about imports of medicines and equipment from Israel, but also projects to establish modern pharmaceuticals production facilities.
We are actively developing our cultural and humanitarian contacts. The Russian Science and Culture Centre in Tel Aviv has been working for five years now.
I want to thank once more our Israeli friends for helping us to restore Russia’s historic rights to the Sergiyev Pilgrims’ Guesthouse. The agreement on visa-free travel for our citizens has also done much to develop scientific and business ties and contacts between our peoples.
During our talks we discussed subjects that are sensitive matters for both countries, for example, the problem of biased and often cynical interpretations of the history of World War II. It is our common duty to prevent attempts to falsify the truth about the war and its lessons. We value Israel’s objective attitude towards the events of World War II. People here do not dispute the decisive role the Soviet Union played in defeating Nazism. The people that lived through the Holocaust cannot forget their executioners, or their liberators.
In this respect the unveiling of a monument paying tribute to the Red Army here in Israel is symbolic. I want to thank once more our Israeli friends for making this possible, and thank Prime Minister Netanyahu for his initiative.
Naturally, we also discussed the situation in the Middle East today. Israel is home to around 1 million, if not more, of our former compatriots, and we want to see them live in peace and security.
I remind you that, right from the start of the Arab Spring, Russia consistently told its partners that democratic transformation must take place in civilised fashion and without outside interference. The events in the Middle East only make it more urgent than ever to resolve the region’s long-running conflicts, especially the Arab-Israeli conflict. We call on all sides to resume negotiations. This is the only way towards reaching a settlement.
Of course, we also spoke in detail about the situation in Syria and the Iranian nuclear programme.
In conclusion, I want to say once more that our talks were substantive and very useful. I am sure that our mutually advantageous cooperation will continue its active development. This is fully in the interests of our peoples and in the interest of regional and global stability.
Thank you very much for your attention.