(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)
This morning (Sunday), 27 March 2011, in the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, a framework agreement was signed on cooperation between the Russian Federal Space Agency and the Israel Space Agency.
The agreement, which was signed in the presence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, enhances cooperation between the Israeli and Russian space agencies in the fields of space research, observation, navigation, medicine and biology in space, research in advanced materials and launchings.
During the ceremony, Prime Minister Netanyahu noted the good state of bilateral relations, against the background of 20 years since diplomatic relations were established. He discussed his positive talks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, in Moscow last week.
Science and Technology Minister Daniel Hershkovitz, Russian Ambassador to Israel Pyotr Stegny, the directors of the respective space agencies, and space experts from both countries also attended the signing.
Prime Minister Netanyahu said that the combination of Russia's developed industry and Israel's developed, focused and sophisticated industry would provide major benefits to both countries, and added that today's agreement reflects the impressive development in bilateral relations.
PM Netanyahu: "I had excellent talks in Moscow with both President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. In my talks with the latter, we agreed to increase cooperation in space, which now finds practical expression in the signing of this agreement. What Minister Hershkovitz said is the truth. One year ago, I told him that I thought that Israel's most natural partner for cooperation is Russia, which has a major infrastructure for space operations. We have focused technology, including - I believe - six satellites in space. Soon we will have a dozen.
The technology is very focused and very advanced; therefore, the combination of Russia's major and developed industry, including its technology, and Israel's developed and advanced technology, is, I believe, one that could provide major benefits to both countries.
Moreover, this genuinely reflects the impressive development of our bilateral relations, the first two decades of which we are celebrating."