Moscow (Nov. 30)
Israel’s new ambassador to Russia, Haim Bar-Lev, has officially presented his credentials to Russian Vice President Alexander Rutskoi.
Rutskoi received Bar-Lev on Monday in his reception hall in the Council of Ministers building, across from the Kremlin, which was abuzz with preparations for the Congress of People’s Deputies, which was scheduled to begin the following day.
The hall in which the ceremony took place was swarming with deputies who had arrived from all over Russia for the Congress.
In the short ceremony, Bar-Lev told Rutskoi, “Russia as well as the United States is an initiator and active participant in the Middle East peace process.
“That is why it is important for us to have close and friendly relations with Russia, so that our positions will be clear and understood.”
The Israeli ambassador and the Russian vice president exchanged brief pleasantries after the ceremony.
They have a few things in common. Both are professional soldiers, and both are Jews.
Rutskoi, spoke about his Jewish mother during a visit to Israel last year.
Bar-Lev served as chief of staff of the Israel Defense Force in the late 1960s.
Rutskoi served as a combat pilot in the Soviet-Afghan war, during which he was shot down, taken prisoner by the Afghan fighters and later made a daring escape back to his own lines.