Russian foreign minister Igor Ivanov and deputy prime minister and construction minister Natan Sharansky met in Moscow on Tuesday to discuss the Middle East situation, first of all the critical situation around Palestinian territories, Russian foreign ministry's information and press department reported. According to the department, the Russian minister pointed to the need for more active efforts to ease tensions, to settle the Palestine-Israeli confrontation following the Mitchell plan. Ivanov also briefed Sharansky on the steps Russia, USA, EU and UN are taking to achieve this goal, including their contacts with the Palestine National Authority. Sharansky, in turn, presented the Israeli government's viewpoint on the situation in the region. He highly assessed Russia's role in Mideastern affairs. During the meeting, the sides also highlighted the development of Russia-Israel relations and expressed willingness to expand mutually advantageous interaction in all spheres, the foreign ministry reported.