(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting on Sunday, 5 October 2008:

1. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made the following remarks:

“Tomorrow, I am leaving on a diplomatic visit to Russia, at the invitation of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who invited me a couple of months ago.  We tried to arrange dates but every time it was postponed.  Ten days ago, after my resignation as prime minister, he reissued his invitation and asked that it take place this week.

"One must remember that Russia is an important and strong global superpower, both militarily and economically.  There are security, military, diplomatic and international issues on the  agenda between us and Russia that we have discussed at length and we will continue to discuss.  This will be the first meeting between our senior leadership and President Medvedev since his election in May.  We will deal with various issues, including those that are of special, immediate, concern to us, such as the supply of weapons to irresponsible elements, the actions of which greatly disturb us, and the Iranian problem, in which Russia has special weight.  Thus, this is an important trip and is being coordinated with all diplomatic and security elements.”

2. Prime Minister Olmert referred to the upcoming Yom Kippur holiday and conveyed holiday greetings to the entire Jewish People.

3. Ministerial State Control Committee Chairman Minister Ami Ayalon briefed the Cabinet on the work of his committee and its goals. 

4. Transportation and Road Safety Minister Shaul Mofaz and senior ministry officials briefed the Cabinet on road accidents in the first nine months of the year. 

5. Transportation and Road Safety Minister Shaul Mofaz offered three proposals to change transportation-related budget allocations in the framework of the draft 2009 state budget.

6. The Cabinet discussed amendments to the 2008 Communications Order (Bezeq and Broadcasts) (Essential Service to be Provided by Bezeq – The Israel Telecommunication Corp. Ltd.). 

7. The Cabinet discussed the Sergei Courtyard in Jerusalem and decided as

To approve the transfer of ownership of the property known as the Sergei Courtyard, at the corner of Monbaz and Heleni Hamalka streets in Jerusalem, to the government of the Russian Federation. The possession and use of parts of the property by various elements, including the Agriculture Ministry, the Israel Nature and Natural Parks Protection Authority, and the Society for the Protection Of Nature, will not be impaired except with the consent of both governments.

To approve the January 2008 exchange of letters that were signed on the issue between the Government of Israel and the Government of the Russian Federation, including the details of the conditions and reservations on the transfer of ownership of the property to the Government of the Russian Federation.

Until it is decided otherwise, only the wing of the building that was used by the Government of the USSR until the 1967 break in bilateral relations and has been vacant since then, will be transferred to the possession of the Russian Government.

Pursuant to the 1951 State Assets Law, Finance Minister Ronnie Bar-On will carry out the necessary actions in order to implement this decision.