Russian International Studies Association

Russian International Studies Association

Israel and Russia: common and specific in viewpoints


December, 8 MGIMO hosted the international conference “Israel and Russia: common and specific in viewpoints”, devoted to the 25th anniversary of the restoration of diplomatic relations, within the framework of the X RISA Convention. This conference has become an incarnation of socio-economic achievements of the two countries as well as an attempt of comparison of their approaches to world politics and regional problems in the Middle East.

The Conference has brought together diplomats and experts who stood at the origins of modern Russian - Israeli relations. The day before the official start of the Conference an informal meeting of the representatives of academic and business circles of the two countries took place. The Ambassador Extraordinary and plenipotentiary of Israel in Russia Heifetz Zvi, the Rector of MGIMO Anatoly Torkunov, the President of the Russian Jewish Congress Yury Kanner, the Chairman of the Israeli-Russian Business council Temur Ben Yehuda (Khikhinashvili), Chairman of Board of directors of “Gazprom Automatization” and member of the Board of Trustees of MGIMO A. Yunaev, vice-president of the Rietumu bank and member of the MGIMO Alumni Association Council Peter Gladkov.

In his address at the plenary session of the X RISA Convention the Rector of MGIMO focused on the role of bilateral Israeli-Russian relations, while the Israeli counterparts the President of the National Security Council of Israel and adviser to the prime-minister on security questions (2011 - 2013) Yacov Amidror, as well as the head of the Euro-Asian Department of the Ministry for foreign affairs of Israel Alexander Ben Zvi suggested their vision of the situation in the international arena and bilateral relations.

In the afternoon Assistant to the President of the Russian Federation Andrey Fursenko and Chief Scientist of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Space of Israel Professor Alexander Bligh participated in the opening ceremony of the exhibition devoted to Israeli discoveries and innovations in science and technology. Later during a discussion session Andrey Fursenko presented to participants and students a report on the new Strategy of scientific and technological development of the Russian Federation. The issue of technological development was also covered in the speeches of Professor A. Bligh and the Head of National Economic Council, Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister of Israel Professor Avi Simhon who linked the innovation processes with economic prosperity and Israeli - Russian business relations. The moderator of the session vice-rector of MGIMO E. Kozhokin contributed greatly to the discussion.

Session devoted to the Middle East problems has come to be one of the most popular. On the Russian side the vision of the situation in the Middle East was presented by the deputy minister for foreign affairs of the Russian Federation M. Bogdanov. Special attention was paid to the Iranian and turkish factors in the situation on the ground, as well as to the disagreements and opportunities for cooperation of the international community on Syria.

The closing session was devoted to bilateral relations. Professor of Tel-Aviv University Boris Morozov, Head of Israel Department at RAS Institute for Oriental Studies Tatiana Karasova, Head of Euro-Asia 1 Department of Israel MFA Yacov Livne, INSS expert, Ambassador of Israel to Russia (1998-1999) Zvi Magen, Head of the Middle East Studies Center of the Institute of International Studies at MGIMO A.V. Fedorchenko, the deputy director of the Department on the Middle East and North Africa of the Ministry for foreign affairs of the Russian federation Sergey Kozlov, DCM, Embassy of Israel in Russian Federation Alex Goldman-Shayman participated in this session.

Among the moderators of the sessions are vice-rectors of MGIMO Vladimir Morozov, Artem Malgin, Evgeny Kozhokin.

Participants of the Conference declared a special character of Israeli-Russian relations, while Yacov Livne mentioned that the third part of all Jews in the world speak Russian.

Participants of the Conference have agreed on the expansion of contacts on the academic and experts level.

X RISA Convention took place with the support of the MGIMO Endowment Foundation and the MGIMO Alumni Association.