President Rivlin Travels To Russia, Will Discuss Syria With Putin
President Reuven Rivlin flew to Russia Tuesday afternoon, March 15 for an official visit to Moscow during which he will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Rivlin is traveling to Russia at a significant time geopolitically, against the backdrop of international efforts to broker peace talks in Geneva between the warring factions in Syria and an announcement this week by President Putin of a gradual withdrawal of Russian troops from Syria.
President Rivlin will reportedly discuss the regional implications of the current situation in Syria following a Russian withdrawal. In the fall of 2015, Israel and Russia agreed to a cooperative mechanism through which the Israeli and Russian militaries have coordinated their respective actions in Syria in order to avoid a mishap between the Russian and Israeli air forces.
Rivlin is also expected to meet with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and other government officials as well as with representatives of the Jewish community in Russia.
The Soviet Union recognized the State of Israel with the declaration of independence in 1948. The Six-Day War led to the severing of relations, and commercial ties were renewed only after 25 years with the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991.
With the resumption of relations, the two countries signed cooperation agreements in various fields, such as trade and health, and senior officials from each country have visited the other, including the visit of President Putin in 2012 and the visits of foreign and economy ministers.