(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (Tuesday, 14 May 2013), made the following remarks at his press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin:
"I very much appreciate your contribution. At 05:00, we finished the budget and a few hours later I landed here in Sochi, which is very impressive and attests to Russia's development under your leadership.
Therefore, I suggested to you on the way here that the next meeting between us should be in Eilat. In both places there is tranquility and quiet and in both places we would like it to continue. This is in spite of the fact that rockets have recently been fired at Eilat from Sinai.
This points to the fact that the region around us is very stormy, unstable and explosive. I am pleased to have this opportunity to try and consider together how to stabilize the region and look for ways to bring security and stability, which are certainly important for us but for you as well, for our common goals."
At the joint press conference following the meeting, Prime Minister Netanyahu said:
"Thank you Mr. President for the invitation. You have exactly described the relations between us, between Israel and Russia, relations which are always improving and strengthening, and we discussed how to enhance economic, cultural, scientific and tourism ties between us even further.
A not inconsiderable part of these ties is, of course, Jews from the former Soviet Union who are in Israel, and also the historical experience of stopping the Nazis, the great and important contribution of the Russian people in the victory over the Nazis. Jews who fought in the ranks of the Red Army and, therefore, when you marked the victory several days ago, I can tell you that in another country in the world there certainly were a few people who stood up, because they fought in that war, and saluted you – all those who stopped the Nazis.
The fact that the State of Israel arose allows Jews to defend themselves against those who are still continuing to aspire to destroy it. We desire peace with all of our neighbors, we have achieved peace with two of them and we hope to achieve it with others, and to maintain the existing agreements. But we have learned, like you have learned, that one makes peace with the strong and only with those who can defend themselves – their country and the lives of their people – by themselves. We held deep and comprehensive talks about the situation in our region. Together we are looking for the way to ensure stability and security. This is important for us, it is also important for you and we have a direct channel of communication between us, so that we can talk to each other and understand each other and try to achieve these goals."