Access to a troubled era: Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Thursday signed an agreement allowing Israel access to sensitive information from the old soviet archives.
The two foreign ministers held a joint press conference at a Tel Aviv hotel and announced that Israel would now have access to documents from the Soviet archives dating back to the period between 1953 to 1967.
The archived information dates back to a troubled era in Israeli-Russian relations. During the Sinai Campaign of 1956, as well as the 1967 Six Day War, the USSR had supported the Arab nations and had supplied both Egypt and Syria with arms.
As a first step in opening the old soviet archives, the Russian government will have to contend with a variety of logistical concerns, following which Israel will have access to the archived information from the aforementioned years.
Visa agreement signed
Meanwhile, Livni and Lavarov also signed a reciprocal visa agreement, eliminating the need for tourists visas for visitors from both countries.
On another front, Lavrov told Livni that any attempt to resolve the Iranian issue through means that are not peaceful would hurt the international effort against Tehran's nuclear program.
Livni said the way to avoid difficult decisions in the future would be to impose harsh sanctions on Iran today.