Vladimir Putin: Relations Between Russia and Israel are Developing Positively

"Despite all the complications," the relations between Russia and Israel are developing positively, said Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday at the negotiations with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in the Kremlin.

The head of the Russian state pointed out that the level of trade between the two countries had topped one billion dollars. Apart from that, he pointed out good prospects for cooperation in high technologies and in the military-technological sphere.

The Russian President noted that he would like to exchange information and opinions with regard to the situation in the Middle East and between Israel and Palestine, to discuss the state of relations within the framework of the three countries - Israel, Syria and Lebanon - and also the situation surrounding Iraq.

For his part, Israeli Prime Minister stated that his country "regards Russia as a superpower," and pointed out the importance of developing and strengthening bilateral relations. "We regard Russia as a superpower, with some problems perhaps, but still a superpower," underscored Ariel Sharon.

According to him, the level of trade between the two countries of 1,000,000,000 dollars is not a limit, and this issue will be discussed in November at the session of the Russian-Israeli economic commission.

Ariel Sharon also congratulated Vladimir Putin on his 50th birthday which the Russian President will mark on October 7. "Our intelligence service works well, and I congratulate you on your 50th birthday which you will soon mark," he said.

"We know well how the Israeli intelligence service works," retorted the Russian President.

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