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MOSCOW, June 22 (Itar-Tass) —— Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Israel will bring bilateral relations to an utterly new level, president’s envoy for relations with compatriot organizations abroad, Alexander Babakov, said on Friday.
“The contact between the two countries’ leaders will bring the relations to a new level,” he said during a Moscow-Jerusalem video conference. “The structure of bilateral cooperation has changed and it has good prospects, especially in such areas as economics and tourism.”
“Russia and Israel are involved in the process of geopolitical changes,” Babakov went on. “We are worried over the development in the region, and Moscow is committed to use all possible peaceful means to ensure peace in the Middle East.”
He reminded that a monument to the Red Army soldiers will soon be opened in Netanya. “Israel occupies a special place in our relations with compatriots,” he said. “The opening of this monument will boost these ties.”
Israel’s Minister of Information and Diaspora Affairs Yuli Edelstein shared this view. He spoke about an uprising at the Sobibor Nazi extermination camp led by Red Army lieutenant Alexander Pechersky. Regrettably, he said, not much is known about his heroic deed. He called on Russia and Israel to pool efforts to reward their heroes. According to Edelstein, one of the participants in the uprising is currently living in Israel and it is planned to install a memorial plaque near his house.
Touching on the agenda of Putin’s visit, Edelstein said it was planned to discuss global and regional problems. Although, in his words, it is unlikely that accord would be reached on all the issues but it is vital to clarify the positions. The situation in the region is very unstable and it is the major concern for everyone, he noted.