RUSSIA - Warmest Relations with Israel in History

Arno Froese

On June 7, [2016] Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the iconic Bolshoi Theater in Moscow. “Russia and Israel can take pride in our high level of partnership, fruitful cooperation and far-reaching business contacts,” Putin said in an address before the ballet.

It wasn’t always this way. Several decades ago the Soviet Union and Israel did not have relations, and Russia was one of the most implacable Cold War foes, aiding and allying with regimes that opposed Israel.

But recent years have seen a dramatic about-face.

Last year we saw the most intensive political dialogue in history between Jerusalem and Moscow, said Alexey Drobinin, deputy chief of mission at the Russian Embassy in Tel Aviv, in a conversation.

High-level delegations traveled back and forth in 2016, including Netanyahu’s two visits and a visit to Israel by Chairman of the Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko.

This year is off to an auspicious start as well.

“For us, Israel is an important partner in the Middle East. Why? Because we believe Israel is a vibrant economy, strong state, especially if you compare it to some other states in this region which have been weakened over the past years. We believe we have a lot of potential to tap into in the coming years with Israel in the political, tech and economic fields, and movement is both ways; Russia has a lot of things to offer, and Israel has a lot to offer,” says Drobinin.

Russia has historic ties to the Middle East, including numerous monasteries and pilgrimages by Orthodox Christians. Many Israelis also have origins in Russian-speaking lands, not only from the era before 1948 but also since the 1990s, when a million Russian-speakers arrived on aliya.

There is also talk of increasing economic relations with Russia.

“We want Israeli technologies to be used to boost the Russian economy, such as in agriculture and hi-tech. Russia has something to offer in energy,” Dobrinin says., 25 March 2017

Arno's commentary

The saying “blood is thicker than water” is quite fitting when one considers that the majority of immigrants in Israel originated from the former Soviet Union. Israelis also remember that most of their earliest military hardware, particularly aircraft, found their origins in the former Soviet bloc.

Here the words of Jeremiah come to mind: “But, The Lord liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land” (Jeremiah 23:8).

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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