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Putin Arrives in Israel on Landmark Visit

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Israel on Monday morning on an official state visit.

Putin heads a large entourage comprised of government ministers, advisers and journalists. The 300-person delegation arrived in four planes.

Israeli officials are hoping to recruit Russia’s government to join their efforts against Iran’s nuclear program. They also want to encourage a number of security and economic initiatives.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman greeted the Russian contingent at Ben-Gurion Airport, and visitors headed straight to Netanya, where Putin was scheduled to dedicate a monument memorializing Red Army soldiers, an initiative sponsored jointly by him and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

President Shimon Peres was the main Israeli representative at the dedication ceremony. He praised the Soviet Union’s actions against Nazi Germany, as well as the current Russian government’s efforts to promote peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

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