TEL AVIV (Jan. 25)
A high-ranking Soviet economic delegation was due in Israel on Thursday for discussions of trade and economic development between the two countries.
The six officials, who will spend a week in Israel at the invitation of the Finance Ministry, arc expected to help with preparations for next month’s visit to Moscow of Vice Premier and Finance Minister Shimon Peres.
The Soviet delegation comes here on the heels of an accord reached in Moscow this week between representatives of the Soviet and Israeli chambers of commerce, who agreed to open offices in each other’s countries.
The Soviets, who want to develop agricultural commerce, arc interested in Israel’s drip-irrigation method and importing Israeli agricultural products, which arc in short supply in the Soviet Union.
According to Danny Gillerman, head of the Israeli Chamber of Commerce, Israel is interested in making use of the vast raw material resources available in the Soviet Union.
Gillerman told Israel Radio in a telephone interview Wednesday that his delegation did not raise the question of renewed diplomatic ties between Israel and the Soviet Union.
But he quoted a senior official in Moscow to the effect that “where there arc trade and commercial pacts, politics and diplomacy follow quickly.”
The Soviet economic delegation arriving in Israel is headed by Grigory Olhovikov, deputy chief of the Soviet National Planning Council.
The delegation includes a representative of Aeroflot, the Soviet state airline, which recently signed an agreement with El Al for joint service between Moscow and Tel Aviv.
The Soviet government has yet to ratify the airlines’ accord. It is expected to be one of the subjects the Soviet visitors will discuss with Israeli officials.