Relations between Israel and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, which were renewed as soon as these countries restored their democracies, are becoming increasingly close, especially in economic matters, culture, tourism, and international cooperation activities. Economic agreements with these countries are of importance, given that many of them are members of the European Union or candidates for future membership.
As these countries had been the center of world Jewry before World War II, the memory of the Holocaust is a significant factor in relations with them. Issues being dealt with include restoration of nationalized Jewish public and private property to their owners or legal heirs, recognition of the 'Righteous among the Nations' who risked their lives to save Jews during the Nazi era, and cooperation with the governments of the region to combat manifestations of antisemitism.
Israel's relations with the Eurasian states (former Soviet Union) have gained momentum, particularly in the political, economic and cultural realms. Official visits and new agreements have laid a solid foundation for expanding these relations. Trade and investment ties are showing impressive growth. More than a million former Soviet citizens now living in Israel form a human bridge between Israel and their countries of origin, adding a special dimension to the relations.
Israel's ties with the Russian Federation are of strategic importance given its active involvement in the diplomatic process in the Middle East (as a member of the Quartet) and in the negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program.
Israel continues to enhance its relations with Central Asian Caucasus states, where there is great demand for Israeli MASHAV aid in the fields of public health, advanced agriculture, water resource management and the fight against desertification. Other important issues are the preservation of Jewish heritage in the Eurasian states, perpetuation of the memory of the Holocaust and the fight against antisemitism.