JERUSALEM (Jun. 18)
Several offers have been made to Israel recently for the supply of Soviet oil to this country, but the offers have been turned down, it was revealed here today.
The offers had come from middlemen in Central Europe. Israel, however, wanted to know whether the offers were being made on behalf of the Soviet Union or, at least, with the full knowledge of Soviet authorities. Having failed to receive satisfactory answers to such questions, Israel declined to accept the offers.
Israel had contracts with Soviet firms for crude oil before the Sinai campaign of 1956. After that campaign was launched, the Soviet Union unilaterally halted crude oil shipments to Israel. Later, Israel took the issue of breach of contract to a Soviet arbitration court, and lost its suit in that court in Moscow.
Israel, it is understood, has an ample supply of crude oil now but would have been interested in obtaining Soviet shipments if such an offer had come directly from an authorized Soviet source. Resumption of oil trade, it was hoped here, might result in renewal of general Israeli-Soviet trade.
Meanwhile, it was announced here today that Prof. Yaacov Bentor, director of Israel’s Geological Survey, left for Moscow where he has been invited by the Soviet Academy of Science to lecture before and participate in a Conference on Mediterranean Geology to be held in the Soviet capital from June 22 to July 1.