The Russian and Israeli teams meet. (Courtesy)

While working to finalize a free trade agreement and forge closer economic ties with Russia, Israel says it has a lot to share, including agricultural technologies.

Russia and Israel are planning to sign a free trade agreement that will allow for the establishment of joint ventures in the high-tech and agriculture sectors, the Russian news agency TASS reported Friday.

Both Israeli Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel and Russian Deputy Agriculture Minister Sergey Levin confirmed that the agreement is expected to be finalized by the end of 2016.

“We’ve discussed the prospects of forming a free trade zone, which the government plans to put on paper within the shortest period of time,” Levin said.

Israeli officials told Ma’ariv that Ariel visited Russia with Member of Knesset Yoel Razvozov who, together with Israeli Ambassador to Russia Zvi Heifetz, met with Kremlin officials—among them Russia’s deputy prime minister, Arkady Dvorkovich—to discuss the agreement.

Representatives from both sides also discussed pension payments by the Russian government to Israeli citizens who had immigrated to the Jewish state from the former Soviet Union.

Israel is ready to share agricultural technologies with Russia, Israeli Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel said Thursday.

“There are several fields in which Israel can share technologies [with Russia]…One of the fields is prolonging the storage life of agricultural products… We are ready and willing to share with you our experience of building and maintaining dairy clusters. And the third field may be sea fish farming,” Ariel said, speaking at Moscow’s Timiryazev Agricultural Academy, according to Russia’s Sputnik news.

Another area of ​​cooperation with Russia, according to the Israeli agriculture minister, could be the mechanization of agricultural work, “which can at least double the output and increase productivity per unit area.”

Ariel expressed satisfaction over the progress both sides have made, thanking the Russian government for taking actual action and not only making declarative statements.

By: and United with Israel Staff