Bennett, Putin discuss bilateral trade, Syria and Iran at first official meeting

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Russian resort of Sochi on Friday.

Putin told the prime minister that as they mark 30 years of diplomatic relations, he considers relations between Russia and Israel to be important, especially given the presence of a million Russian speakers in Israel, many of whom are Russian speakers. WWII veterans who are warmly regarded by Russia.

3 בגלריה

הממשלה, בנט, רוסיה, פוטין, לראשונה בעיר,

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet in Sochi on Friday

(Photo: Group Policy Object)

The Russian president expressed his hope that the Bennett government will continue the good relations established with the previous Israeli government.

He said he hoped Israeli-Russian trade would increase. He noted that in the first seven months of 2021, there had been a 50% increase in the trade balance which he considered important.

Putin also said that Russia hopes the two countries will also cooperate in the high-tech industry.

He said he was eager to discuss regional issues. Russia is trying to rebuild Syrian infrastructure following the civil war and there are many problematic issues to discuss but also opportunities for cooperation, especially the fight against terrorism.

Putin ended his comments by saying he was happy to welcome the Israeli prime minister to Russia.

Bennett thanked Putin for the warm welcome he received upon his arrival in Sochi. He praised Russia’s role in defeating the Nazis in WWII.

“Our responsibility is to pass on our gratitude to Russia to future generations, including with monuments honoring the Red Army and Russian veterans including a Putin himself devoted during his visit in 2020.

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נתניהו עפ נשיא רוסיה ולדימיר פוטין טקס חניכה אנדרטה גן סאקר ירושליםנתניהו עפ נשיא רוסיה ולדימיר פוטין טקס חניכה אנדרטה גן סאקר ירושלים

Russian President Vladimir Putin and then Prime Minister Netanyahu dedicate a memorial to the defenders of Leningrad during World War II

(Photo: Amit Shabi)

Bennett has declared a new museum in memory of Jewish soldiers who fought in World War II, many of whom served in the Red Army.

He said he was looking forward to discussing bilateral cooperation on economy, culture and science, adding that trade relations should be strengthened.

Israeli-Russian relations are special because of the past, present and future, the prime minister said and added that Russian-speaking Israelis play a major role in all aspects of Israeli life.

the prime minister said he will discuss the situation in Syria and that Iran’s nuclear ambitions will be discussed at the leaders’ meeting.

“Our conversation will be based on the deep bonds between the two nations and peoples, which you have led,” he said.

“We consider you a true friend of the Jewish people,” Bennett told Putin.

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