Putin arrives in Israel, inaugurates WWII memorial (YNetNews.Com -Yedioth Internet) Boaz Fyler Published: 06.25.12, 14:01 )
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Russian president greeted at airport by Foreign Minister Lieberman,
inaugurates Netanya memorial for Soviet soldiers who fought Nazis
Russian President Valdimir Putin landed at the Ben Gurion Airport on
Monday where he was greeted by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and
an IDF honor parade. During his visit Putin inaugurated a memorial in
Netanya for Soviet troops killed in World War II.
He later met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister
Ehud Barak, Foreign Minister Lieberman and National Security Advisor
Yaakov Amidror at the prime minister´s residence.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by President Shimon Peres,
Minister Lieberman, his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, ministers
Yuli Edelstein, Sofa Landver and Stas Misezhnikov. The Russian
delegation also includes Russia´s agriculture, labor and social
"The white rock dove symbolizes the triumph of good and peace," Putin
told a crowd of 600. "May these values always serve as the basis for
friendship between our nations."
He added, "I´ve seen a lot of monuments around the world but this
will be a permanent reminder of the heroism of an entire generation
that fought and sacrificed itself for all mankind. The Holocaust is
history´s blackest page and such acts cannot be tolerated. The Red
Army put an end to those atrocities."
Putin further noted, "Here in the Holy Land, this beautiful country,
we know that peace can be fragile and we must ensure that the Nazis´
doctrine of crime stay behind."
The Russian president thanked Israel´s prime minister, president and
the monument´s creators.
"This monument is a beacon of hope," Peres said, "Russia who so
greatly helped win the war is the same Russia that can help peace in
the Middle East."
The president stressed Russia´s involvement in the international
dialogue with Iran and said that men´s dignity will not be trampled
over again. "I am sure that as a fighter against fascism Russia will
not allow similar threats. Not an Iranian threat or Syrian bloodshed."
Peres also took the opportunity to extend his wishes to Egyptian
President-elect Mohammed Morsi. "We will honor the peace between us,
because peace is the real triumph for both our nations. Peace is the
triumph of children everywhere."
Earlier, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said at an Independence faction
meeting that "Russia is a very important world power, a country that
played a very important role in Syria´s history in the past few years
and that is why it will play a key role in the shaping of post-Assad
Syria." Barak also stressed Russia´s importance in "the international
effort vis-ŗ-vis Iran in terms of sanctios and diplomacy."
The erection of the monument was initiated by Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu. The initiative is the brainchild of former Netanyahu
advisor Dina Margolin and was first conceptualized during Netanyahu´s
visit to Moscow.
"The Russians were looking for a base to unite Belarus, Ukraine and
Russia," Margolin said. "They have little in common but they all
share the issue of World War II. The Soviet Union lost some 30
million people in this war."
Russia launched a global campaign to remind the world that the war
could not have been won without the help of Soviet soldiers.
Polina Garaev contributed to this report(Copyright 2012 © Yedioth
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