Israel will erect a memorial commemorating the Red Army’s crucial role in the victory over the Nazis, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told Russian Prime Minster Vladimir Putin at a photo opportunity before their meeting Tuesday.
Netanyahu said the gesture, which he intends to move forward, is in honor of the 65th anniversary of the victory over the Nazis later this year. This move comes amid growing concern in Russia that their role and sacrifice in the victory over Nazism is increasingly being underplayed.
Putin, saying that it was forbidden to forget the Nazi victims and that the Jews and the people of the former Soviet Union suffered more than anyone else at the hands of the Nazis, said he was currently in discussion with Moscow’s chief rabbi about the possibility of establishing a Holocaust museum in Moscow.
Netanyahu said he hoped the memorial would be erected before Putin’s
next visit to Israel, expected with the year, and that at the same time
the Russian prime minister could also take part in the ceremony in
which Russia would formally take over control of the Sergei courtyard
in central Jerusalem.
After saying that Israel and Russia would
increase cooperation in a number of spheres, including technology,
security and agriculture, Putin joked that he hoped the agricultural
cooperation would add funds to Israel’s Agriculture Ministry so that it
could quickly move out of its offices in the Sergei courtyard.