President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Prime Minister, colleagues, I am very happy to welcome you to Moscow.
I am glad to say that you and I have been in constant contact. We talked on the phone just recently. I am happy for the opportunity to talk with you about the situation in the region, as well as complicated international issues and bilateral relations.
I must say that we are giving significant attention to pressing international issues. But I suppose that Russia and Israel’s bilateral relations have their own value, and I hope that you and I will discuss them today as well. I am referring to our plans to develop economic cooperation and humanitarian ties.
We also have matters to discuss in the energy sector. Gazprom has started to explore raw hydrocarbon deposits on your continental shelf in the Mediterranean Sea. We have already implemented effective, promising projects in space and aviation. RUSNANO is cooperating with a relevant agency in your country and also has good prospects.
I am very happy to see you. Welcome!
Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu (retranslated): Mr President, I am happy to meet with you again. Every time we meet, we understand each other better, and our relations are constantly growing warmer and improving. I hope this meeting will strengthen the good relations between Russia and Israel even more, as they have been continuously gaining momentum under your leadership.
During your last visit to Israel, you saw a monument to Soviet soldiers and their enormous contribution to the victory over Nazism. For my part, I will be visiting the museum you founded, dedicated to the Jewish community, tomorrow.
Vladimir Putin: You haven’t visited it yet?
Benjamin Netanyahu: This is my first opportunity to do so.
Vladimir Putin: We’ve done even better than you.
Benjamin Netanyahu: Just give us a chance, and we will also show our strong side.
I feel the mutual appreciation and respect between our nations is exceedingly important, with regard to both our two peoples’ tragedies and their aspirations. Naturally, we want to prevent future tragedies. I hope that our meeting will help contribute to security and peace, and improve our bilateral relations, as well as the situation in our regions and throughout the world.
Vladimir Putin: Mr Prime Minister, I remember that this memorial was your initiative, and you invited me to participate in its opening in Israel.
I just finished a meeting with the leaders of Russia’s non-parliamentary parties – those that are not represented in parliament. And one of the participants in this meeting made a suggestion to foster closer cooperation with Israel to preserve the memory of the tragedy of World War II. I promised that I would certainly bring up this proposal with you, and that we will discuss it at the Foreign Ministry level.
Benjamin Netanyahu: I am happy to accept your proposal.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you.