Peres heads to Russia for state visit

President to attempt to impress upon leading Russian politicians the importance of putting a halt to Iran's nuclear program.

Peres 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
Peres 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
When President Shimon Peres travels to Russia on Tuesday for a two-day state visit at the invitation of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, he will meet him not in Moscow, but in Sochi, the favored resort area of affluent and influential Russians. It is in Sochi that the president of the Russian Federation has his summer palace; and it is in Sochi that the winter Olympics will be held in 2014. Medvedev is technically on his summer vacation, but doesn't mind taking time out to discuss Russia's involvement in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and in the advancement of peace throughout the whole Middle East. In addition to his meeting with Medvedev, Peres will meet with leading Russian politicians and attempt to impress upon them the importance of putting a halt to Iran's nuclear program and to curbing the manufacture of long-range missiles capable of delivering nuclear bombs. Peres has frequently reminded the movers and shakers with whom he has met that nuclear weapons are not the only threat to world stability. Warheads and missiles in the wrong hands are no less destabilizing. If Iran is permitted to continue with its nuclear program, Peres has said on many occasions - most recently to two delegations of US congressmen and women - it will cause a global catastrophe. Peres and his entourage will stay at the VIP guest house in Sochi for the duration of the visit.