Jerusalem, 5 April 1999

PM Denies Reports on Changes in Russian Relations

(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

In response to a statement by MK (Labor) Haim Ramon that were based on erroneous press reports, to the effect that there has been a change in Israel’s policy towards Russia and its arming of Iran, the Prime Minister’s Media Advisor yesterday evening (Sunday) 4.4.99, stated that there has been no change in Israel’s policy.

The opposite is true at his meetings with Russian Prime Minsiter Yevgeni Primakov and Foreign Minsiter Igor Ivanov the Prime Minister during his recent visit to Russia, he strongly reiterated that Israel would not accept the aid that Russian companies are providing Iran in its efforts to develop non-conventional weapons.

The Prime Minsiter told Foreign Minister Ivanov that Russian aid to Iran is suicidal since it not only endangers the existence of Israel, but also the security of Russia when it boomerangs against Russia.

At his meeting with Prime Minsiter Primakov, it was agreed to establish a ministerial team headed by the foreign ministers of both countries that would oversee and prevent the proliferation of non-conventional weapons. Within six months, both parties will review the situation and examine whether the Russians had acted as required.