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MOSCOW, June 7. /TASS/. Russia and Israel can be proud of the level of partnership they have achieved, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday, expressing hope that new initiatives will appear this year when the two countries mark 25 years since they restored diplomatic relations.
"I won’t speak now about diversified both in political and economic sphere relations between Russia and Israel. I just want to express hope that bilateral cooperation will be enriched with new initiatives in this anniversary year," the president said on Tuesday.
"The main thing is that we have a bid towards consistent regular work, towards putting all our plans into life," Putin said at Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater ahead of a concert marking the date.
"During today’s very friendly and substantial negotiations, we stressed with Mr. Netanyahu that Russia and Israel can be proud of a high level of partnership they have achieved, of productive multi-faceted cooperation and extensive business contacts," Putin said referring to negotiations he had on Tuesday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The Russian leader also marked interlinking traditions and cultures. "We in Russia highly value it that Israel remembers the role the Soviet Union played in the establishment of modern Jewish state system, and then was one of the first to recognize this country and exchange diplomatic missions," he added, noting that almost 1.5 million Israelis were of Russian heritage.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for his part, also marked deep ties linking the two countries. "Our culture is currently under the threat of barbarous forces, they are menacing the whole global community," the prime minister said.
"They behead people, enslave women and destroy cultural monuments. We know this, we must cooperate to stop this," he said.