Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov held negotiations with Israeli Prime Minister in Moscow today. According to the government's press office, Mr Kasyanov said that Russia intends to continue taking an active part in resolving the Middle East conflict. 'Our meeting comes at a difficult time in the region but Russia always strives to help the two sides find a peaceful solution,' the Russian premier stressed.
Mr Kasyanov added that 'today Russia and Israel have a good opportunity to discuss their trade and investment ties.' The Russian prime minister is happy about the way that bilateral trade relations have been developing over the last few years. In particular, while the trade turnover between the two countries was only USD 20 million in 1992, this year the figure is expected to rise to USD 1.2-1.3 billion.
Mr Kasyanov outlined some projects to attract Israeli investment in the Russian economy and vice versa. Mr Sharon also said he was interested in organizing joint projects in Russia. He also stressed the financial sense of Russian investment in Israel where the outflow and inflow of capital is now unlimited. Moreover, he said, 'Russian investors face no language barrier as Russian is widely spoken in Israel anyway.' According to Mr Sharon, Israel is 'willing to compromise in order to find a solution to the Middle East crisis'. However, these compromises must not jeopardize the safety of the Israeli people and their country. 'Israel is a peaceloving country and we are prepared to take significant steps in order to establish peace,' Mr Sharon said. 'However, there is one thing that we will never compromise and that is the security of our people and country.'
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