During his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday, President Shimon Peres reminded his Russian counterpart of his promise to ensure that Iran does not get nuclear weapons.
“The responsibility to ensure that something like the Holocaust never happens again rests on your shoulders,” Peres told Putin. “You said that whoever denies the Holocaust can cause another Holocaust. You said that Russia will help maintain Israel's security and will not allow the nuclear armament of Iran. We do not hate Iran, but want a world with no fear and threat.”
During the conversation, Putin told Peres, “We have an understanding that we need to solve the problems in the Middle East and especially the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis. The only way to reach a settlement is in by talking and Russia calls on both sides to resume negotiations.”
Putin expressed appreciation for his country’s friendship with Israel and expressed hope that the relations between the two countries will continue to grow. He chose to mostly avoid addressing what is happening in Syria and Iran, despite Peres's statement that "the Russian Federation has a role in stopping the bloodshed and bringing peace and security to the people of Syria and the Middle East. Unfortunately time is running out.”
After the meeting, Peres addressed the Syrian mortar shells that exploded in Israeli territory on Thursday morning and said, "Syrian bombs fell in Israel after years of silence. Russia must act to bring peace to the area.”
Earlier on Thursday Putin invited the Israeli delegation headed by Peres to a luncheon with Foreign Minister Lavrov and other dignitaries.
Putin added a quaint touch at the end of the luncheon when he opened a bottle of wine bottled in 1948.
"This wine was bottled in 1948, the year of the establishment of the state of Israel," said Putin. "Allow me to raise a toast to your life and health, allow me to raise a toast to the life of the state of Israel." Both he and Lavrov then uttered "L'chaim," the Hebrew exclamation used on such occasions.
The two presidents also attended a gala event during which they opened the unique Jewish Tolerance Museum in Moscow, which will use displays, interactive activities, and the latest technologies to tell the story of the Jewish people throughout the ages.