Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Russian President Vladimir Putin are due to meet today (Friday) for the first time in the Russian city of Sochi.
Remarks by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at the beginning of the meeting: “Thank you for the warm welcome. Relations with Russia, which we are currently marking 30 years to establish, are very special, both because of the past and because of the present and the future. We remember the past, the mobilization The miraculous days of the Russian nation and the Red Army to defeat the Nazis in World War II. These were the most crucial days of the whole world and of the Jewish people. In the city of Netanya in Israel and the monument in memory of the siege of Leningrad in Jerusalem – two places that you, Mr. President, have inaugurated. “
In addition, Bennett said: “Personally, as a student of history, it is impossible not to appreciate the heroism of those difficult years of the entire Russian nation. These days we are completing the establishment of a new museum in Israel to commemorate World War II Jewish warriors in all armies, but the special and significant contribution was “In the Red Army, where half a million Jews fought and 200,000 Jews fell in the war within the Red Army against the Nazis. The museum will be named after President Haim Herzog, the father of the current president of Israel, and I would love to talk to you about that.”
“I also look forward to discussing a variety of current issues, strengthening the countries’ economic, technological, scientific and cultural ties. We have a million ambassadors in Israel, a million Russian-speaking Israelis who make a huge contribution to Israeli culture, the mentality they bring, a hard work mentality. This is a very big contribution to the State of Israel. I’ll tell you a short story from this week, I visited a wounded soldier in a hospital of Russian descent, he was seriously wounded a second time a year. Do you want to? ‘, And he told me’ I just want to go back to my unit to fight. ‘” Added the Prime Minister.
“We will also talk about strengthening the economy. As the President said, we can significantly increase trade and we must do so. We will also talk about the situation in Syria, the efforts to halt the Iranian military nuclear program. One last word – all these relations, the whole discussion will be founded. “For the deep connection between the two countries, between the two nations, which you have led for the past 20 years. I can tell you on behalf of the citizens of Israel that we consider you a true friend of the Jewish people. Thank you very much.” Said Bennett at the end.
The Prime Minister’s entourage includes the Minister of Construction and Housing, Zeev Elkin, who participated in the preparatory work for the visit and is taking part in a meeting between the leaders.