President Reuven Rivlin met with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, in Moscow this afternoon (Wednesday).
At the opening of their talk, Putin said, "I congratulate you on your visit to Russia. I am happy to welcome the President of the State of Israel in Russia. The relationship between Israel and Russia has a long history. More than a million and a half people from the former Soviet Union live in Israel, speak Russian, and maintain the Russian culture and mentality. They keep up their connections with friends and relatives who remain in Russia and this gives a special flavor to the relationship.
"We are grateful to Israel for returning holy sites that were once in our hands to us," he added.
The Russian President said that the pair would discuss security, financial and trade issues, adding that he also invited Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to the meeting. "I spoke with the Israeli Prime Minister by telephone and we agreed to meet and discuss further issues."
President Rivlin replied, "Dear President, thank you for the warm welcome. It is an honor for me to be here with you in your beautiful country. Russia and Israel have a long history. We work together in a range of fields and we also know how to deal with terror and fundamentalism.
"As a Jew, I would like to say that we will never forget the Russian people and the Red Army for their defeat of Nazism. Many Holocaust survivors around the world always remember that the first soldier they met during the liberation was a soldier from the Red Army."