17 March 2016 16:00 Reception House of the Russian Government, Moscow A discussion of key issues in Russian-Israeli trade, economic, investment and humanitarian cooperation. Transcript of the beginning of the meeting:
Dmitry Medvedev meets with President of Israel Reuven Rivlin
Dmitry Medvedev: Mr President, I greet you cordially! Nice to meet you! This is your first visit to Russia as Head of State of Israel. Symbolically, it takes place in the year marking the 25th anniversary of the restoration of diplomatic relations between our countries. I'm aware that yesterday in the Kremlin you covered extensively issues such as international relations, the current situation in the Middle East, and the Syria crisis. I think that President Putin provided substantive clarifications on these issues, so today we can focus on economic cooperation between our countries.
Israel is our important partner in the Middle East. Your country is special for us, given our history. Admittedly, our economic relations are developing unevenly, and our task, at least, I believe it is my task and the task of my colleagues in the Government, is to do our best to step up economic and trade cooperation, as well as investment, between our countries. It is beneficial both for Russia and for Israel. Once again, welcome and enjoy your stay in Russia.
Reuven Rivlin (via interpreter): Mr Prime Minister, I am honoured to be your and President Putin's guest. Your name and your actions are highly thought of across the world, particularly, in Israel. Our relations with Russia and with the Russian people (which is particularly important to us) are at a very good stage. That's good, as there are major multilateral problems around us, but we have good bilateral relations. The fact that 25 percent of Israel's population speaks Russian helps to build an enormous positive relationship between our two peoples, the people of Israel and the people of Russia. The history of Zionism, Israel's history, is closely linked with the people of Russia. The Jews who survived the Nazi atrocities never forget who helped them, who won World War II and who liberated the concentration camps. Even your President mentioned that we have adapted many of your songs. That is why we are proud and excited about this meeting, and it is very important to us.