Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 97

At a Moscow briefing, Russian defense minister Pavel Grachev expressed interest in getting Israel’s assistance in the modernization of some of Russia’s Soviet-era weapons systems. Grachev stressed that he was not proposing joint development of new weapons. He said that any deal would presuppose a peaceful situation in the Middle East and require a special presidential or governmental waiver of Russia’s restrictions on military-technical cooperation with Israel. Grachev plans to submit detailed proposals during his planned visit to "Tel Aviv"–as he consistently referred to Israel–November 1 through 5, with Foreign Economic Relations Minister Oleg Davydov, Rosgoskomvooruzhenie chairman Viktor Glukhikh, and heads of several major defense enterprises. (10)

Grachev was speaking in the wake of Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin’s Moscow visit during which Davydov proposed modernizing Russian Yakovlev airplanes with the assistance of Israeli industry. Grachev, who would presumably have to visit Jerusalem to get a deal, did not specify what weapons systems he wanted modernized. Israel has recently made an agreement to modernize Romania’s Soviet-era Mig-21 interceptor aircraft.

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