FM Liberman: Whoever wanted positive proof that the Iranians do not intend to reach an agreement, received it in the past few days. From Israel’s standpoint, all options are on the table

 Russia-Israel commission resumes work


FM Liberman and Vice-Premier Zubkov  (Photo: Israel Embassy, Moscow)

(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau)

The Russian-Israeli mixed commission on trade and economic cooperation held its first meeting in Moscow today (Thursday 3 December 2009). The meeting was co-chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman and Russian First Vice-Premier Viktor Zubkov.

At the start of the meeting, FM Liberman expressed his condolences to the Russian government in light of the terrorist attack on a passenger train last week. As a result of the attack, Vice-Premier Zubkov, who heads the government commission investigating the attack and is responsible for the formation of transport security procedures, requested that commission delegates visit Israel to exchange information and to study how Israel deals with train security.    

During the meeting, the delegates discussed the issue of the air-travel crisis to the cities of Sochi, Rostov and Krasnodar. The discussions are continuing, but a breakthrough was made at this stage regarding flight security, and a protocol was signed. The Russian delegates estimated that the lines would begin operating at the beginning of 2010.

 Russia-Israel commission resumes work

Photo: Israel Embassy, Moscow

The commission also discussed the investment protection agreement. There are still differences on this issue, and both sides agreed that the process should be accelerated as it is essential to the continued economic cooperation between the two countries. The co-chairmen requested that delegates from both sides draft a document detailing the points of dispute and give it to them so they can promote the issue.

The two sides further decided to expedite the pension agreement of former citizens of the Russian Federation currently living in Israel. The main goal is to implement the agreement on World War II veterans by 9 May 2010.

FM Liberman invited his Russian counterparts to participate in a command exercise for emergency situations as well as an invitation to a seminar on science and technology to be held at the Ariel College.

FM Liberman raised the issue of establishing consulates in St. Petersburg and Novosibirsk . Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Saltanov announced that discussion on this issue were already underway. FM Liberman stated that it his expectation that a favorable response will be obtained from the Russians.

It was further decided at the meeting that the next conference would take place in the city of Sochi, with the participation of business people from both sides. The goal of the conference is the promotion of various projects. Emphasis will be placed on the possibility of including Israeli business people and companies active in the fields of security and computerization for the 2014 Olympic Games, which will be held in Sochi.

FM Liberman was interviewed today by Russian TV, and referred to the Iranian issue. FM Liberman stated that "We are impatiently waiting for concrete steps to be taken by the international community on the Iranian issue. Whoever wanted positive proof that the Iranians do not intend to reach an agreement, received it in the past few days. From Israel’s standpoint, all options are on the table."