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Sarah Palin Was Right: Look Where Russia is Building a HUGE Military Base

Screen-Shot-2015-10-27-at-11.49.11-AM-578x400
(Allen West) – The number of ways and places Vladimir Putin is out-foxing, out-maneuvering and thoroughly out-“leadershipping” President Obama are becoming too numerable to count. The Russian President has steadily been building his dominance in the northern hemisphere’s most resource rich region, the Arctic Circle, and has been running circles around his American counterpart in the process. We’ve now learned that Putin has poised Russia to have a long-term strategic advantage in the Arctic region that it may never lose.

Prompting the UK Sunday Express to query “Is Russia Set to Spark WW3?”, news broke last week that Putin and Russia have nearly completed construction on an absolutely massive Arctic military base located just 300 miles from the United States!

On the 80th parallel on an island called Alexandra Land which is located between the Barents and Kara seas, Russia has built a gigantic base they’re calling the “Arctic Trefoil.” With 14,000 square meters of space it can house up to 150 soldiers for up to 18 months. That’s …large. So much space will allow troops to move freely without stepping outside into weather which can reach deadly cold temperatures.

Last month I reported on Putin’s aggressive expansion of his fleet of Polar-class heavy ice-breaker ships in the Arctic region. Russia now has 41 such ships, 6 of them nuclear powered, compared to Obama’s America with our paltry fleet of two (one functional) and no money budgeted for the construction of any more. And now this.

ChrisKyle

The unveiling of this new Arctic base shows how much emphasis Russia is putting on gaining more control of the Arctic which contains valuable minerals, crude oil and a bevy of other precious natural resources. Putin reportedly deployed an air contingent to the region last November when only a small border outpost existed. That contingent got to work expanding runways to enable cargo planes to land and deliver building materials. And build they have.

Russia’s Defense Minister, Sergey Shoigu, delivered the news last Tuesday that the nation has built this giant military base. The Minister claimed Arctic Trefoil is 97 percent complete. Moscow also revealed blueprints for a new army base on the disputed Kurile Islands, some of which are situated less than 20 miles from Japan. Russia is clearly building up is Arctic military infrastructure.

With this new base plus the opening of a similar base (the “Northern Shamrock” on Kotelny island in the East Siberian Sea) plus talks of others, building of an Arctic fleet, incursion into the Syrian conflict, the Crimean peninsula invaded, owned and annexed, and verification of war games taking place across the Arctic, it’s clear Putin means business.

As reported by experts from the Express UK:

“Vladimir Putin’s imperialist ambitions were laid bare today with an announcement that the secretive Russian war machine is planning to build three new military bases in the Arctic – just 300 miles from the US mainland.

But, in a significant ramping up of Russia’s military reach, Mr Putin hopes to taunt US and Japanese officials with outposts in the Arctic and Pacific.

Moscow also revealed blueprints for a new army base on the disputed Kurile islands – some of which are situated less than 20 miles from Japan. The plans mean Moscow will have troops, warplanes and military vehicles stationed in all four corners of the Asian continent.

It will be seen by both Washington and Beijing as a direct challenge to military supremacy in the region.

In the Pacific, a new Russian base on the Kurile islands is likely to worsen already frayed relations with Tokyo…”

What counter moves does the U.S. have in place so as to not completely lose control of the Arctic and have a megalomaniac parking war planes, ships and bombs just a few hundred miles from our front door? And are our plans any more clear and executable with defined methods and goals than our Middle East foreign policy?

Just as the weak can sense strength, the strong can detect weakness. And right now Putin is making it clear to the entire world just exactly who is strong and who is weak.

Just for the record, Sarah Palin’s actual quote in context was regarding the close proximity of Russia to Alaska, when she said “you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.”

And pretty soon you might be able to see Russian troops as well. Who’s laughing now?

http://www.allenbwest.com/2015/10/sarah-palin-was-right-look-where-russia-is-building-a-huge-military-base/

– See more at: http://www.teaparty.org/sarah-palin-right-look-russia-building-huge-military-base-126543/#sthash.3GfFVCSS.dpuf

Authoritarian Putin Faces New Instability as Up to 26,000 Russians March Against Ukraine Invasion

Protest Moscow banner
UK Guardian

By Alec Luhn in Moscow

Thousands of people gathered in central Moscow on Sundayto protestagainst their country’s involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine at an All-Russian March for Peace, the first large anti-Kremlin rally since the conflict started in April.

The march for an “end to the Russian regime’s irresponsible, aggressive policy” in Ukraine drew 5,000 protesters, according to the interior ministry. But official estimates of opposition march numbers have been notably low in the past, and the volunteer group White Counter, which was tallying participants as they passed through police metal detectors at the beginning of the march, said put the number at 26,000 people.

Although some far-left groups, such as Autonomous Action – whose members carried a banner reading “No to war between peoples! No to peace between classes!” – participated in the march, the main contingent of the protest was similar to the movement that shook Moscow in 2011-2013. Other banners read “Hands off of Ukraine!” and “Freedom to the 6 May prisoners”, a reference to those jailed on charges of inciting riots after an anti-Putin rally in Bolotnaya Square on 6 May 2012 that degenerated into clashes between police and protesters.

Others carried pictures of Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine. In recent weeks, Russian independent media have reported on the growing number of soldiers who have gone missing after being deployed to eastern Ukraine, and secretive funerals have been held for some servicemen in places like the provincial city of Pskov.

Sunday’s march was organised by longstanding opposition parties including Yabloko, Solidarity and Parnas, as well as newcomers like the Party of Progress organised by popular anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny, who is currently under house arrest as part of what many see as a politically motivated criminal case.

The protesters represented a variety of political views, but most were united in their opposition to what they see as a Kremlin policy to escalate the conflict in eastern Ukraine by sending arms and soldiers across the border.

“My last name may be the same as Putin’s, but I’m against him,” said Oksana Putina. “We can wake up the Russian people, so that we won’t see any more Russian troops in Ukraine … Let Putin take out his troops, and Ukraine will deal with its own problems.”

Vadim Kryuchkov and Varvara Daryevskaya, who were holding Russian and Ukrainian flags, said they didn’t believe the protest would change the Kremlin’s course but felt it was their duty to express their opposition. Kryuchkov said he was originally from a town near Luhansk and supported the greater local autonomy for the region, but was againstRussia sending troops and arms to eastern Ukraine. “We want Ukraine to see that there are people in Russia who don’t support the war,” Kryuchkov said. “Russia is directly participating in this war.”

“In fact, Russia started it,” Daryevskaya said.

A few thousand protesters also assembled in St Petersburg, while peace marches in other cities drew far fewer people. According to the human rights organisation OVD Info, a peace march organiser in Yekaterinburg was briefly detained by police but later returned to the protest….
A few thousand protesters also assembled in St Petersburg, while peace marches in other cities drew far fewer people. According to the human rights organisation OVD Info, a peace march organiser in Yekaterinburg was briefly detained by police but later returned to the protest.

The Moscow march was tailed by a few hundred pro-Kremlin protesters holding the flags of the Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics declared by pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine. At least one minor scuffle broke out but lines of riot police for the most part kept the two camps apart.

“The whole reason for this crisis is that Russia has refused to recognise Ukraine’s European choice,” said Higher School of Economics professor Nina Belyayeva, who was holding a sign reading, “Ukraine’s European choice = an example for Russia”. She was soon confronted by several pro-Kremlin protesters, who argued that the protests in Kiev this winter that toppled former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich’s regime had been organised by the United States.

Police did confiscate signs from some protesters, including one reading, “Putler kaput!” When asked about the seizure, a police officer would only say that the signs “didn’t correspond to the topic of the protest”.

“It strongly affects the police officers’ nerves when it’s something related to Putin,” said organiser Ilya Mishenko.

Check Mate

Putin and Obama

Surprize, Surprize!!! Russia is Cheating on Arms Treaties, Obama Ignores Warnings

BY: Bill Gertz, The Washington Free Beacon:putin-angry-banks

Russia is engaged in a major violation of the terms of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with the United States by building a new medium-range missile banned under the accord, according to U.S. intelligence officials.

Disclosure of the treaty violation comes as President Barack Obama last week called for a new round of arms negotiations with Moscow aimed at cutting deployed nuclear warheads by one-third.

Intelligence officials said internal assessments identified Russia’s new Yars M missile that was tested earlier this month as an INF missile with a range of less than 5,500 kilometers.

“The intelligence community believes it’s an intermediate-range missile that [the Russians] have classified as an ICBM because it would violate the INF treaty” if its true characteristics were known, said one official.

However, Russia is denying its new Yars M missile represents an INF violation.

Retired Lt. Gen. Victor Yesin, a former commander of Russian strategic forces and current consultant to the chief of the general staff, said in an email to the Washington Free Beacon that Russia is complying with the terms of INF because the Yars M, also known as RS-26, is an ICBM and not a banned intermediate-range system.

“According to the information I have, Russia closely follows the obligations arising from the 1987 INF Treaty and 2010 New START Treaty,” Yesin said. “The RS-26 ballistic missile, which is a Topol class ICBM, is not covered by the INF Treaty as its range is over 5,500 kilometers. Russia officially informed the U.S. about that in August 2011.

The issue of Russian INF compliance was raised in Moscow on Monday by presidential aide Sergei Ivanov, who told a television interviewer that Russia would not adhere to INF treaty constraints indefinitely.

“A legitimate question arises: On the one hand, we have signed the Soviet-U.S. treaty, and we are honoring it, but this can’t last endlessly,” Ivanov said according to Interfax.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said June 19 that some of Russia’s “neighbors,” a reference to China, were developing INF missiles and suggested Moscow would not allow the INF treaty to hinder its strategic arms buildup.

“We cannot accept a situation that would put the strategic deterrent system out of balance and make our nuclear forces less effective,” Putin said on the same day Obama announced plans for a one-third cut in the U.S. deployed nuclear warhead arsenal.

Two U.S. intelligence officials said the new Yars M mobile missile is not an ICBM and that the administration needs to confront the Russians on the system or risk undermining the entire arms control agenda.

The Russian INF violation initially was disclosed in vague terms by members of Congress, including House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R., Calif.), and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers (R., Mich.).

McKeon and Rogers wrote to Obama in April describing earlier concerns over what they called “a massive Russian violation and circumvention of an arms control obligation to the United States of great significance to this nation and its NATO allies.”

“Briefings provided by your administration have agreed with our assessment that Russian actions are serious and troubling, but have failed to offer any assurance of any concrete action to address these Russian actions,” the two chairman stated in the April 12 letter.

They noted that Senate Intelligence Committee members also have raised concerns about “clear examples of Russia’s noncompliance with its arms control obligations.”

McKeon and Rogers said they expected the administration’s annual arms control compliance report, due to Congress April 15, to “directly confront the Russian violations and circumventions.”

“We also seek your commitment not to undertake further reductions to the U.S. nuclear deterrent or extended deterrent until this Russian behavior is corrected,” they said.

McKeon said in a statement in response to Obama’s Berlin disarmament speech that “Russia is cheating on a major existing nuclear arms control treaty.”

“I have been urging the president through classified and unclassified correspondence to take seriously these violations by Russia since last year, but the president has ignored these concerns,” he said.

In February, McKeon and Rogers wrote to Obama asking why he had not responded to a classified Oct. 17 letter outlining “significant arms control violations by the Russian federation.”

“It is clear that the Russian Federation is undertaking both systemic violation and circumvention of a significant arms control obligation to the United States,” they said. “Such is the reality that confronts the United States, despite four years of your best efforts to ‘reset’ relations with that country.”

“How can President Obama believe [the Russians] are going to live up to any nuclear treaty reductions when he knows they are violating the INF treaty by calling one of their missiles something else?” one official said…

U.S. officials said the first details about the INF-range RS-26 missile emerged last year and intelligence assessments later confirmed the missile violates the INF treaty.

However, senior Obama administration officials so far have played down or dismissed the violation to avoid upsetting current and future arms talks with Moscow, the officials said.

Mark B. Schneider, a specialist on Russian missiles at the National Institute for Public Policy in Virginia, said the new Yars M missile appears to be an INF violation.

“There is increasing evidence that the ‘new’ Russian ICBM that they now call the Yars M or Rubezh is either a circumvention or violation of the INF Treaty,” Schneider stated in an email.

Other potential INF violations outlined in Russian press reports include Moscow’s development of a new ground-launched cruise missile, and reports that the Russians have used anti-ballistic missiles and surface-to-air missiles as surface-to-surface missiles, Schneider said…

A House Armed Services Committee staff member said administration officials recently told Congress that Russia was complying with the New START treaty.

The staff member said the issue of Russian treaty violations is not new and efforts were made in last year’s defense authorization bill to press the administration for answers to concerns expressed by both House and Senate members.

The refusal to address what one official called a “militarily significant” arms treaty violation led to the inclusion of language in last year’s version of the defense authorization bill that limited implementation of the 2010 New START arms treaty.

The fiscal 2014 defense bill includes a similar provision passed by the House earlier this month.

McKeon said the current legislation was approved “by an overwhelming margin” and “would prohibit further reductions while Russia is violating—if not in material breach of—its current obligations.”

“There is bipartisan agreement that faithfulness and an honest, open exchange are the heart of any successful arms control process,” McKeon said.

In response to the legislative provision in last year’s bill, Obama threatened to veto it if the provisions blocking New START implementation were in the final bill.

Obama’s pro-Moscow mentors Frank Marshall Davis and Alice Palmer and his friends in the Communist Party USA, worked for years to weaken the US.. military in favor of the Soviet Union.

It would be wise to work on the basis that Obama is deliberately continuing their agenda.

WHAT IS THIS FOR -Obama Requests-15000-Russian Troops-for-Upcoming-Disaster

Posted by EU Times Russian Troups
An unsettling report prepared by the Emergencies Ministry (EMERCOM) circulating in the Kremlin today on the just completed talks between Russia and the United States in Washington D.C. says that the Obama regime has requested at least 15,000 Russian troops trained in disaster relief and “crowd functions” [i.e. riot control] be pre-positioned to respond to FEMA Region III during an unspecified “upcoming” disaster.
According to this report, this unprecedented request was made directly to Minister Vladimir Puchkov by US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Director Janet Napolitano who said these Russian troops would work “directly and jointly” with her Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), part of whose mission is to secure the continuity of the US government in the event of natural disasters or war.
Important to note, this report says, is that FEMA Region III, the area Russian troops are being requested for, includes Washington D.C. and the surrounding States of Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, “strongly suggesting” that the Obama regime has lost confidence in its own military being able to secure its survival should it be called upon to do so.
In his public statements, yesterday, regarding these matters Minister Puchkov stated, “We have decided that the US Federal Emergency Management Agency and Russia’s Emergencies Ministry will work together to develop systems to protect people and territory from cosmic impacts,” and further noted that his meeting with DHS Director Napolitano also covered other kinds of natural emergencies, such as recent years’ extreme weather in both Russia and United States.

In this EMERCOM report, however, Minister Puchkov notes that the Russian troops being requested by the Obama regime would “more than likely” be paired with US-DHS troops who last year purchased nearly 2 billion rounds of ammunition and just this past month placed and emergency order for riot gear.
As to what “upcoming disaster” the US is preparing for, this report continues, appears to be “strongly related” to last weeks assassination of American reporter Michael Hastings who was killed while attempting to reach the safety of the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles, and as we had reported on in our 20 June report Top US Journalist Attempting To Reach Israeli Consulate Assassinated.
Further to be noted about Hastings assassination by the Obama regime is the continued US mainstream propaganda news cover-up of it, though many freelance reporters continue to uncover the truth, such as Jim Stone whose investigation noted that the rear portion of Hastings car was blown open and shredded with the rest of the car nicely intact, which runs counter to the “official” story that this vehicle has hit a tree.

Not mentioned in this EMERCOM report is any suggestion that Russia would comply with this request from the Obama regime, especially in light of the horrifying information being given to Russian intelligence analysts from Edward Snowden who has been labeled as the most wanted man in the world.
According to one Federal Security Services (FSB) bulletin on their continued debriefing of Snowden, and analysis of the information he has provided Russian intelligence officers, his father, Lonnie Snowden, was an officer in the US Coast Guard during the 11 September 2001 attacks on the United States who had “direct knowledge” of the true events that occurred and whom the real perpetrators were.

Being directly affected by the events of 9/11, this FSB bulletin says, Snowden “self initiated” a multi-year effort to gain access to America’s top secrets, a mission which when recently completed led him to contact various international reporters, including Hastings, whom he believed could be trusted with disseminating the information he had obtained.
Though known to us directly from our Kremlin sources as to the exact connections Snowden’s information proves regarding 9/11 and both the Bush and Obama regimes, and the even more horrific event soon to come, a June 2013 Defence Advisory Notice (DA-Notice) prevents our being able to…at this time.
Likewise, and as the assassination of Hastings clearly shows, the Obama regime claims a legal right to kill anyone it so chooses without charges or trial they believe may threaten US national security, and what Snowden’s information reveals definitely falls into that category.
What can be said though, there is a critical reason billionaires all over the world have been dumping their stocks, and fast; and those who are not able to read between the lines will soon find themselves in the most dangerous situation they’ve ever encountered.
Forewarned IS forearmed.

US Initiates Decisive U-Turn On Chechyna as Islamist Attack Turns Sympathy Away

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXrLf0qoiKIThe revelation that the two brothers suspected to be behind the Boston Marathon attack are ethnic Chechens has led the US establishment to perform a rapid volte-face towards the previously sympathetically-viewed region and cause.

Through the two separatist wars fought by Chechen militants in the 1990s, the standard US portrayal of the restive region focused on the David and Goliath scale of the adversaries, the ‘denial’ to Chechens of their right to self-determination, and the abuse of human rights.

dagestanIn the wake of Monday’s attack, a new sinister international image of Chechnya has emerged.

“Chechnya region is cauldron of Islamic militancy” proclaimed the headline in the New York Daily News. For LA Times, it was “Festering Chechen militancy”, while the Washington Times went with “Chechnya is a hotbed of Islamic extremism”.

USA Today, Fox News and the Washington Post all simply picked “Chechnya is a breeding ground for terrorism”, as their header.

The international experts now offered a different narrative of the conflict that has bedeviled Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and cost thousands of lives as well as draining billions of dollars from the budget.
russia_chechnya_5_300“The [second Chechen conflict in 1999] war initially began as a nationalist war but very, very quickly metastasized into something that looks much more like the radical Salafi-Jihadi movements we’ve seen in other regions around the world,” Christopher Swift, a professor of National Security at Georgetown University, told ABC News.

“The movement that’s emerged from the 15 years of war is very radical, it’s very virulent, it’s very nasty”.

“The Chechen jihadi network is very extensive,” Middle East analyst Walid Phares told Fox News. “They have a huge network inside Russia and Chechnya.”

“United States shut its eyes to Chechen terrorism,” said former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani.

No longer were the Tsarnaev brothers victims of oppression, simply looking for a better life in America as refugees.

“They could well be supported by a significant international network,” John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, told Fox News.

Evan Kohlmann, chairman of Flashpoint Global Partners, a New York-based international security consulting firm said, “these groups [the two men may have belonged to] can be just as radical as anything Al Qaeda puts out.”

Many newspapers also recalled the hostage-taking incidents that ended in tragedy at the musical Nord Ost in Moscow in 2002, and a school in Beslan in 2004.

Indeed, the National Interest foreign policy magazine went as far as to declare that Vladimir Putin’s Chechnya policy “has been vindicated” and that “President Obama needs to call Putin ASAP.” For all about turns, these abrupt attempts to give more context to the Boston Marathon bombing and redefine Chechens as ‘dangerous enemies of Western civilization’ may not even be particularly relevant. While the Tsarnaev brothers appeared to have a very strong sense of ethnic identity, there is little so far to suggest that they were a cell in some shadowy terror group. In fact, the two had barely spent any of their lives in their homeland.
chechnya_news_cnt_20nov09_pa_646While the new portrayal of Chechnya as a terror base, may not be any more three-dimensional or correct than its previous incarnation as a tragic land denied its independence, few would deny that violence, oppression and violations of human rights have characterized the history of Russians and Chechens living in the same state.

But the quick abandonment of sympathy towards Chechens, and sanctimony towards the Kremlin in large swathes of the US establishment prove this: it is one thing to castigate a nation overseas for its approach to terrorism, but it is something else to encounter it face to face, when citizens of your own country die in acts of calculated violence.

House votes to prevent Obama sharing defense data with Russia

By Pete Kasperowicz

The Hill`s Trending Stories McDonnell, Cantor press event leads to Dem uproar in Virginia delegation See all Trending StoriesThe Hill`s Trending VideosBoehner mourns loss of life in Colorado shooting ‘tragedy’ Boehner: Voters aren’t asking ‘where in the hell the tax returns are’ Romney: Obama’s ‘you didn’t build that’ comment not a gaffe, it’s his ideology McCain: US should form ‘coalition of the willing’ to aid Syrian rebels See all Trending VideosActivity StreamMore from Floor ActionA closer look at next week … House votes to prevent Obama sharing defense data with RussiaBy Pete Kasperowicz – 2012-07-19 01:50:00 PM ETRead by 18 peopleView this article on The HillADVERTISEMENT

The House approved language on Thursday that would prevent the Obama administration from sharing classified information about U.S. missile defense technology with Russia.

The language was proposed by Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) as an amendment to the 2013 Department of Defense spending bill and quickly approved by voice vote. Brooks said he proposed it as a reaction to the hot-mic conversation between President Obama and then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, in which he said he would have more flexibility on the issue of U.S. involvement in European missile defense after the November election.

Republicans have said they fear Obama’s remarks indicate he is working on some secret arrangement with the Russians, and Brooks said his amendment is meant to prevent any sharing of missile defense technology with Russia.

“In light of recent statements by President Obama that he wanted ‘more space’ from the Russians in regards to missile defense, and his statement that he would ‘have more flexibility’ on this issue after the elections, I am concerned… that the United States’s critical hit-to-kill and other valuable missile defense technology may become pawns in a political chess game of appeasement with the Russians,” Brooks said.

Brooks also said the United States should be especially wary of sharing anything with Russia, in light of comments from Russia’s military threatening the nation if it participates in a missile defense system in Europe.

“If Russia’s defense staff is wiling to blatantly threaten the United States, why should the United States hand them the keys to technology that gives America’s war fighter a decided advantage?” he asked.

Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio) said he supports the language as a way to shape whatever agreement Obama might be working out with Russia.

“This amendment would say, ‘Mr. President, you won’t tell us what your secret deal is, but that secret deal better not include sharing classified information of the United States with the Russians about our missile defense,’ ” he said.

“This actually may be the most critical amendment that we will consider on this bill today,” said Rep. Bill Young (R-Fla.), who chairs the House Appropriations subcommittee on defense. “There should be no secret deals on our missile defense with the Russian president or any other person not involved with the security of our own nation.”

Democrats let the amendment go without a fight, although Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.) said he saw it as harmless given the unlikelihood that Obama would share classified information with Russia.

“We don’t have any problem with this amendment,” Dicks said. “I would be very surprised if the administration would give any classified information to the Russian government.”

Brooks said his language is similar to language that was approved as part of the National Defense Authorization Act earlier this year. The House is expected to pass the 2013 spending bill, H.R. 5856, by Friday.

Statement by PM Netanyahu after meeting with Russian President Putin

We agree that Iran’s continued pursuit of nuclear weapons is a grave threat first and foremost to Israel, but also to the region and to the world.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hc1_cz1cc0[/youtube]

Statement by Prime Minister Netanyahu:

President Putin, Vladimir, I want to welcome you and your delegation to Jerusalem.

Mr. President, this is your second visit to Israel as President. Following your first visit to Israel seven years ago, Israel and Russia significantly upgraded their relations. You mentioned the considerable expansion in trade, the economy, culture, science, technology and tourism. The foundation for the relations between our two countries is not only common interests, but the more than one million Russian-speaking Israelis. They constitute a vast human bridge, and, in just a few short years, the Russia-speaking immigrants from Russia and the former Soviet Union have become an integral part of Israeli society.

They are partners in the army, in hi-tech, in science and medicine, in art and culture. Mr. President, they are also partners in the government. You know Foreign Minister Leiberman well, but there are many others including:

Minister of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Yuli Edelstein; Minister of Tourism, Stas Misezhnikov; Minister of Immigrant Absorption Sofa Landver; the chair of our coalition, Zev Elkin; Natan Sharansky, who heads the Jewish Agency; Eugene Kandel, my national economic advisor; and many others.

I must say that, rumors to the contrary, I do sometimes work with people who are not Russian speakers, but there is no doubt that the public of Russian-speakers in Israel truly serves as a living bridge between Israel and Russia. A lot of people are crossing that bridge. In the past year alone, over half a million Russian tourists came to Israel. That’s an enormous number for a country the size of Israel. It has multiplied by a factor of seven in the three years since we eliminated the need for visas from Russia.

Tourists from Russia come to Israel because they like this country; they like the sun; they like the sea; they like the history, the holy sites, and we look after these as if they were the apple of our eye. In the Middle East, Israel safeguards freedom of religion. All this means that Israel is a country in which Russian tourists can feel at home.

Despite all this, I have no doubt that we have barely scratched the surface of what we can accomplish together, and therefore I am certain that your current visit will lead to a further upgrade in agriculture, science, hi-tech, space and in many other areas.

Mr. President, you are coming at a time of tremendous changes in our region. Yesterday, Egypt elected a new president. Israel appreciates the democratic process in Egypt and respects the results of its elections. We look forward to working with the new government on the basis of our peace treaty. I believe that peace is important to Israel; I believe that peace is important to the Egyptians; I believe that peace is a vital interest for both countries; and I believe that peace is the foundation for stability in our region.

We just had the chance to discuss the current negotiations between the international community and Iran. We agree that Iran’s continued pursuit of nuclear weapons is a grave threat first and foremost to Israel, but also to the region and to the world.

Israel believes that the international community should have three clear demands of Iran: Stop enriching uranium inside Iran; remove all the enriched uranium from Iran; and dismantle the underground nuclear facility near Qom. That is why Israel believes the international community must now do two things: ratchet up the sanctions against Iran; and also ratchet up the demands that are being made of Iran.

Mr. President, we all aspire to peace. I look forward to discussing with you ways in which Russia can help Israel and the Palestinians advance peace, even during these challenging times, maybe especially during these challenging times.

There is a slight difference between us that we discussed prior to beginning the press conference. Mr. President, when you want to visit a neighboring country, you usually fly from Moscow for several hours. Our neighborhood is much smaller. Tomorrow, you will meet with President Abbas in Bethlehem, which is a four to five minute drive from here. Ramallah is only ten minute’s drive from here. The key to peace is complex, but in the end it is very simple: either President Abbas must come here or I must go to him, and I am willing for either of these possibilities to occur, however we must begin to talk. I hope you convey this simple message tomorrow during your meeting in Bethlehem.

Regarding our neighbor to the north, a way to end the killing and the terrible suffering of the citizens of Syria must be found, and peace, security and regional stability must be pursued as far as is possible during these turbulent times.

Mr. President, two years ago during my visit to Moscow, I promised on behalf of the State of Israel that we would memorialize the historic role played by the Red Army in defeating the Nazis. Today, I am pleased to say, we kept that promise. You just came from Netanya, from the moving ceremony inaugurating that same memorial that recognizes the tremendous contribution of the Red Army in the victory over the Nazis. For us, memory is a part of our existence. We fight against Holocaust denial and we join in the fight against the attempt to deny the important role played by the Red Army in defeating the Nazi monster.

This is a fundamental and important part of our heritage. Approximately half a million Jews fought in the ranks of the Red Army, including thousands of veterans who currently live in the State of Israel. Each year I meet them on Victory Day. They proudly wear their medals and I ask them, “For which battle did you receive this?” One tells me, “In the battle defending Moscow.” Another answers, “In Stalingrad.” A third says, “In Kursk,” and there are those who say, “Many places.” We salute them today. We salute all those who fought and sacrificed their lives for humankind.

Mr. President, over the past twenty years, a special relationship between our peoples was built, and I am certain that your visit in Israel will greatly contribute to the strengthening and deepening of these ties in the years to come.

Welcome to Israel. Welcome to Jerusalem.