The current Russian-US summit symbolises bilateral rapprochement, Berl Lazar, Russia's Chief Rabbi, said to RIA Novosti. "What we are witnessing is certainly two countries coming closer together," added Rabbi Lazar as he pointed out graphic changes in bilateral contacts: "I have seen not only how the US President treats Russia but how it is treated at other American administrative levels." The Rabbi called to do everything possible for further progress along that road, and to encourage and step up new patterns in bilateral contacts. He was of the highest opinion of President Vladimir Putin's address to the cream of American politics and business at the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C. "Whatever the President said was of tremendous importance not for Russia and the USA alone but for the whole world," remarked Rabbi Lazar. Russia can use its links with Arab countries to promote Mideastern settlement, he emphasised. The Rabbi pointed out the significance of President Putin's meeting with Jewish community spokesmen after his Embassy address. American Jewish activists received a good chance to see the kind of man Vladimir Putin is, and get convinced that Russia is no longer what it was, he said.
The Ilyushin 20 (Il-20) military electronic reconnaissance aircraft of the Russian Air Force with 14 servicemen on board that went off radar screens off the coast of Syria was shot down by Syrian air defense systems over the Mediterranean Sea