On November 11, members of the State Duma held a meeting with members of the Knesset of Israel via
videoconference. Deputy Chairwoman of the State Duma Olga Timofeeva
Olga Viktorovna and coordinator of Interparliamentary Group on interaction with Parliament of the State of Israel Nikolai Gonchar Gonсhar
Nikolai Nikolaeviсh took part in the meeting. The Israeli side was represented by the co-chairs of the Israel-Russia Parliamentary Friendship Group Tali Ploskov and Konstantin Razvozov. Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the State of Israel Anatoly Viktorov also took part in the meeting.
The meeting participants discussed issues related to the spread of the coronavirus infection. Parliamentarians shared their national experiences in countering COVID-19. Olga Timofeeva told about a large package of laws adopted in Russia aimed at countering the pandemic, to support citizens and the economy in difficult conditions. Parliamentarians stressed the need to exchange experience in solving specific issues. Nikolai Gonchar drew attention to the legislative regulation of distant work, as that issue is discussed at the State Duma.
The Israeli side is interested in the Russian vaccine Sputnik V. Knesset members expressed hope that the vaccines would help to return to normal in the shortest possible time.
The meeting participants also discussed issues of historic falsifications and distortion of World War II results. Israel and Russia try to address those issues together, including try to counter information fakes and distortion of facts. There are many monuments related to World War II on the territory of Israel and new monuments are opened.
The parliamentarians also discussed the upcoming 30th anniversary of the restoration of diplomatic relations between Russia and Israel which will be marked in 2021. Both sides will soon prepare their proposals on inter-parliamentary events to mark the anniversary.
Parliamentarians also agreed to develop not only the inter-parliamentary cooperation, but also contacts with people. Nikolai Gonchar gave an example of his long-standing practice of holding receptions in Israel that were attended by people with different problems. For example, citizens of Israel sometimes have problems with property or inheritance in Russia. It is good if the parliamentarians could help to solve the problems. Now, due to the pandemic, it is not possible to hold personal receptions. However, new suitable formats should be found. The Israeli colleagues supported that idea.
The meeting participants also discussed the problem of Israeli pensioners receiving pensions in Russia. According to the current procedure, they are required to go to the consulate every year and get a certificate of personal appearance. But that is really problematic for the elderly people, especially in the current pandemic conditions. After the meeting, Olga Timofeeva immediately requested information on foreign pensioners from the Russian Ministry of Labour and the Russian Pension Fund.
Russian and Israeli parliamentarians agreed to enhance cooperation through friendship groups.
Legislative elections were held in Israel this spring to elect members of the Knesset which consists of 120 members. Israel has ties with parliamentary friendship groups from some 80 countries around the world, including with Russia. There is Interparliamentary Group on interaction with Parliament of the State of Israel in Russian Parliament, which consists of 21 deputies.