President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Prime Minister, colleagues, friends, allow me to once again welcome you to Moscow.
You and I are in constant contact, reaffirming the high level of our relations. This time, it is an official visit, which was planned in advance to mark the 25th anniversary of restoring diplomatic relations between Israel and Russia.
We in Russia think highly of our contacts with Israel — not only because Israel is a key country in the Middle East, but also because of the historical relationship between our nations.
Of course, we would like (you are aware of my position on this) to put Israel’s enormous potential to good use. I am referring to former Soviet and Russian nationals who now reside in Israel. As a rule, these people maintain ties with Russia, and we, for our part, value these ties as well.
Welcome, Mr Prime Minister! I am confident that your visit will be productive and will serve to further strengthen our relations.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (retranslated): Mr President, I am always pleased to visit Russia and to meet with you.
We always have important bilateral topics to discuss, including technology, agriculture and trade cooperation, and regional issues. We have many common challenges, and many common themes to discuss.
However, this visit is special, because it marks the 25th anniversary of restoring diplomatic relations between us. You and I will discuss ways to strengthen and expand these relations over the next 25 years.
I would like to thank you for your warm welcome and emphasise how your words further reinforce the bonds between us. Two members of our delegation — a Minister in the Israeli government and the Israeli Ambassador to Moscow – grew up speaking Russian. It is their native language. I hope their Russian is good.
This is a living bridge between our countries and our peoples, and I hope that this bridge will help us achieve remarkable results in the future, based not only on mutual interests but also on affection and empathy. I would like to once again thank you for this visit.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you.