The Russian President and the Israeli Prime Minister "have discussed in great detail the issues of bilateral co-operation and the situation in the Middle East," said Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov after the negotiations between Vladimir Putin and Ariel Sharon. He added that the meeting had lasted three hours and a half.
According to the minister, Russia is pleased with the level of its relations with Israel - both their political and economic components. Ivanov emphasised that Russia and Israel had good prospects of developing co-operation in the hi-tech sphere.
According to the Russian Foreign Minister, Ariel Sharon was told that Russia advocates long-term settlement of the Arab-Israel conflict on the basis of the UN Security Council resolutions. Ivanov stressed that Russia was going to take active measures in this avenue both bilaterally and in the "four" framework.
Sharon also expounded his plans regarding the situation in the Middle East, the Russian Foreign Minister pointed out
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969