Netanyahu on way to Russia to meet with Putin


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel left Monday on an official visit to Russia to mark the 25th anniversary of the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin are scheduled to meet Wednesday at the Kremlin. It will be the fourth time that Netanyahu and Putin have met in recent months, including Netanyahu visits to Moscow last September and in April, and a meeting in November during the Paris climate conference.

The leaders will discuss regional issues including the global fight against terrorism; the situation in and around Syria; the diplomatic horizon between Israeli and the Palestinians; bilateral economic and trade cooperation, and the strengthening of cultural and humanitarian ties, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

In other diplomatic actions, a bilateral pensions agreement to restore Russian pensions to immigrants to Israel from the states of the former Soviet Union is scheduled to be signed. The agreement must be ratified by the Russian government. Also, a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in agriculture and dairy technology is set to be signed.

Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, are scheduled to meet with Russian Jewish leaders such as Berel Lazar, a chief rabbi of Russia; Pinchas Goldschmidt, chief rabbi of Moscow, and Russian Jewish Congress President Yuri Kanner, along with members of the community.

Netanyahu also is scheduled to visit the armored corps museum in Moscow where an Israeli tank from the Battle of Sultan Yacoub during the Lebanon War in 1982 is currently located. Putin recently signed an order to repatriate the tank to Israel.

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