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Russian Team Comes to Israel to Study Immigration Absorption

In a reversal of decades of Russian-Israeli relations, three officials from the Russian republic arrived in Israel on Tuesday to study how the country deals with its large number of immigrants. The study is intended to help Russia cope with the movement of large numbers of ethnic Russians from newly independent states of the former Soviet Union.

The Russian officials have come here as the guests of the Jewish Agency and will meet with agency, municipality and Absorption Ministry officials, as well as visit absorption centers to see how Israel deals with the paperwork involved.

According to Itzik Moshe, a former emissary to the republic of Georgia who is now involved in Jewish Agency special projects, the Russian delegation is here to study the logistics of absorption, rather than judge the quality.

Despite the mistakes made here in absorption, “Israel is a Garden of Eden compared to the situation within the Russian republic,” Moshe said. “We are the only country that can teach others about absorption.

“I don’t think that big countries such as Germany, the United States and Holland could deal with their populations increasing by 10 percent in two years. The Russians will have problems with housing and employment, and we can advise them how to fully use their potential,” he said.

Jewish Agency officials say nearly a million ethnic Russians have left the Islamic republics, Armenia, Georgia and the Baltic states for Moscow.

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