The dynamic of Russo-Israeli relations in the post-Soviet era
Dunkelberg, Kelley Grady.
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The new state of Russia has been pursuing a rapprochement with the state of Israel since the late 1980's, during the leadership of Mikhail Gorbachev. These two states have been continuing the expansion of diplomatic and economic relations with one another under Boris Yeltsin. The original impetus for this radical change from the previous position of having no diplomatic relations was the former Soviet Union's reevaluation of its strategic interests in the Middle East and abroad, Domestic and international pressures to reestablish relations were present in the Soviet era, but ideological and social taboos, as well as entangling diplomatic alliances, prevented this occurrence. The recent and continuing rapprochement between Russia and Israel has been facilitated by the change of political leadership in Israel, and makes good sense for Russia's struggling economy, strategic interests, and emigration concerns. The fall of the Soviet Union has left Russia vulnerable in these areas; expanded relations with Israel could provide the means for helping to alleviate some of Russia's problems, as well as proving Russia's benevolence to the United States, on whom Russia still depends. Russia is also seeking to reinforce its status as a world power, and therefore has been actively promoting a Middle East peace plan between Israel and the PLO.
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