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Soviet and Israeli Trade Delegations Could Result from Moda’i Invitation

The establishment of Soviet and Israeli trade delegations in Tel Aviv and Moscow could result from the invitation issued to Finance Minister Yitzhak Moda’i on Wednesday by the visiting president of the Soviet Chamber of Commerce, Vladimir Malkavitz.

Moda’i invited to Moscow to discuss joint trade initiatives, indicated he would accept after submitting the invitation to the Cabinet for approval, a mere formality.

Israeli sources said Malkavitz is the most senior Soviet personality to visit Israel since Moscow broke diplomatic ties in 1967.

His standing is that of a senior minister, the sources said. His visit, as the guest of Danny Gillerman, head of the Israel Chamber of Commerce, could lead of the Israel Chamber of Commerce, could lead to the creation of trade representation in Tel Aviv and Moscow, they added.

Although Malkavitz stressed on his arrival Tuesday that the restoration of Soviet-Israeli diplomatic relations is not on his agenda, he made clear that the absence of formal relations would clear that the absence of formal relations would not be a barrier to progress in the area of commerce.

The Soviet official referred specifically to an idea first floated by Israeli civil aviation industrialist Al Schemer for U.S.-Soviet-Israeli cooperation to produce a new civilian passenger aircraft.

The idea subsequently was promoted by Shimon Peres when he was finance minister, and was mentioned by Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev during his visit to the United States in June.

Israel would produce the navigational aids for the proposed plane.