Russians looking for more Israeli economic cooperation.
By TheMarker and Agencies

re Russian-Israeli economic ties picking up steam? Russian natural gas giant Gazprom plans to buy into an Israeli offshore gas project this year, Russian media outlets yesterday.

Also, the joint Russian-Israeli intergovernmental committee of economic cooperation, headed by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov, met yesterday in Jerusalem. At the end of the meeting, Lieberman and Zubkov signed a cooperation agreement on tourism.
zubkov – Bloomberg – November 19 2010

Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov.
Photo by: Bloomberg

Interfax quoted Stanislav Tsygankov, head of Gazprom’s foreign economic relations, as saying Gazprom is planning to establish a joint venture and buy a 50% stake in an Israeli company holding offshore exploration licenses.

Gazprom’s extensive experience in offshore field exploration and production could be applied to Israeli deposits, said Zubkov, who is also chairman of the Gazprom board.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Zubkov Wednesday evening. The two men agreed on wide-ranging bilateral cooperation in agriculture, economics, space research and natural gas exploration. Regarding agriculture, Netanyahu said that the combination of Israeli technology and know-how and water resources in Russia could lead to fruitful bilateral cooperation.

On natural gas, the prime minister called on Russian companies to join exploration efforts in Israel and said that he had no doubt that Israel could learn much from Russian companies’ considerable experience in the field. The two men also discussed the Iranian issue and space research.