Israel Ready To Launch Full-scale Military Cooperation With Russia

Israeli Defence Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer hopes to discuss specific aspects of military and technical cooperation during his visit to Russia in early 2002. The Israeli minister told RIA Novosti on Friday that Israel is ready to launch full-scale military cooperation with Russia. "Our states can cooperate in the military field. We can cooperate on everything, be it reconstruction, new technologies, or maintenance and repairs. And we can sell arms to third countries," Mr. Ben-Eliezer said, "Israel has outstanding technologies; Russia also has technologies, and they are no less outstanding," the minister stressed. In the past, Russia and Israel made attempts to initiate military and technical cooperation. They tried to install the early warning system AVAX on the Russian Il-76 airplane. They also considered a project to upgrade a number of Russian fighter planes using cutting-edge Israeli technologies. In both cases the end product was meant for China. In the opinion of Russian experts, the projects were not implemented due to U.S. pressure on Israel.

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