Putin sends New Year’s greetings to Netanyahu

The Kremlin published on its official website Wednesday Christmas and New Year’s greetings from Russian President Vladimir Putin to numerous other heads of state.

In his message to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Putin noted with satisfaction that Russian-Israeli relations have “retained their positive dynamics,” even improving in the last year.

Putin added that these positive dynamics are an expression of “his resolve to make every effort in the coming year to enhance the entire range of bilateral ties for the benefit of the people of Russia and Israel and in the interests of ensuring stability and security in the Middle East.”

Israel and Russia have seen an increase in cooperation over the last year, most notably with the establishment of a hotline to coordinate each country’s respective activities in Syria.

Last week, Russia’s special envoy on Syria even visited the Jewish state to discuss Israeli interests with regard to advancing an international solution to the civil war in Syria.

On an economic level, Israel has also benefitted from raft of retaliatory economic measures Russia enacted against Turkey last month after Ankara downed one of its warplanes.

Israeli tourism providers have already begun selling the Jewish state as an alternative attraction to Turkey for Russians seeking a break in the sun, and say additional deals are in the works.

As for food imports, Russia’s Minister of Agriculture Alexander Tkachev noted in November that his country would be replacing Turkish produce with goods from Iran, Israel and Morocco.