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Shipping Links Between Israel and the Soviet Union Reported Resumed

Resumption of shipping links between Israel and the Soviet Union has been effected quietly, for the first time since the USSR cut Israel off its shipping list during the 1956 Sinai campaign, the Financial Times here reported today.

According to the Financial Times, the 2,000-ton Israeli freighter Carmela, owned by Mediterranean Seaways, a shipping firm with headquarters at Haifa, has unloaded a shipment of 400 tons of asbestos at the Soviet Black Sea port of Odessa. Additional sailings are planned between Haifa and Odessa, the newspaper reported.

Russia halted all economic relations with Israel, and even withdrew its Ambassador from Israel, after the Sinai-Suez crisis developed in 1956. A large oil contract under which the USSR was to supply Israel with oil for a number of years was cancelled by the Soviet Union unilaterally following that crisis. Israel sued the Russian oil export trust for breach of contract in an arbitration court in Moscow, but lost the suit. More recently, Moscow sent an Ambassador back to Israel to represent the Kremlin there.

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