Union of Soviet Socialist Republics


Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
(USSR/Russia).
   The relationship between the USSR and Israel underwent substantial change over the years. The USSR and the Communist Party were opposed to Zionism, but in 1947, the Soviet Union's representative at the United Nations, Andrei Gromyko, supported the Palestine Partition Plan, which led to the creation of Israel. In May 1948, the Soviet Union was one of the first states to recognize the new state of Israel and was instrumental in assuring the transfer of arms from the Soviet bloc to the embattled new Jewish state via Czechoslovakia during the War of Independence (1948^49).
   However, positive relations in the first years soon gave way to a deterioration of the relationship in the early 1950s that culminated in the Soviet arms supplies to Egypt announced in 1955. A factor in the relationship then, as later, was the relationship between Israel and the Soviet Jewish population. Israel's desire to ensure the well-being internally of the Soviet Jewish population and to ensure the right of emigration for those who wished to leave the USSR led to conflicts with Soviet authorities and Moscow's official position. Despite the growing relations between the Soviet Union and the Arab states in the decade following the Sinai War (1956), correct if cool relations were maintained with Israel. The Soviet Union contributed to the outbreak of the Six-Day War (1967) through the circulation of a fallacious rumor concerning Israeli military mobilization. At this time, the Soviet Union and its east European allies (except Romania) broke diplomatic relations with Israel. Since the 1967 conflict, the Soviet Union had attempted to become a more significant factor in the peace process. At the same time, since the advent of the Gorbachev approach to foreign policy, there had been an improvement in the relationship of the two states. Consular contacts and exchanges took place, Soviet Jewish immigration (see ALIYA) increased substantially, and several east European states restored diplomatic relations with Israel. Nevertheless, the Soviet Union maintained the position that it could not restore relations with Israel until such time as there was substantial movement toward peace and the withdrawal of Israel from the Occupied Territories. On 18 October 1991, the USSR and Israel reestablished diplomatic relations. This was part of the process of preparation for the Madrid Middle East Peace Conference that convened at the end of October 1991 to negotiate a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
   In January 1992, Moscow hosted the first session of the multilateral talks of the Madrid Middle East Peace Process. Upon the collapse of the USSR, Russia took over most of Moscow's functions in Middle East diplomacy, including cosponsoring (with the United States) the Madrid process. From the early 1990s, close to one million citizens of the former Soviet Union immigrated to Israel, and there was significant growth in bilateral relations with Russia and several of the former Soviet republics in the cultural and commercial domains. Nevertheless, Israel remained skeptical about Russia's ambitions in the region, as reflected in its relations with militant Arab regimes (including Syria, Libya, and Iraq) and its transfer of military technology to Iran. While the past few years have witnessed greater cooperation between Jerusalem and Moscow in counterterrorism and intelligence (a process accelerated by the Beslan school attack by Chechen terrorists in September 2004), tension in the bilateral relationship is still caused by Russia's role in Iran's suspected nuclear weapons program as well as the sale of Russian Strella missiles to Syria. The reemergence of widespread anti-Semitism in Russia is also of abiding concern to Israel.
   In April 2005, Russian president Vladimir Putin arrived in Israel on a first-time visit by a Russian or Soviet leader to Israel.

Historical Dictionary of Israel. .

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Union of Soviet Socialist Republics — former country in E Europe & N Asia, extending from the Arctic Ocean to the Black Sea & from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific: formed in 1922 as a union of fifteen constituent republics, it was disbanded in 1991: 8,649,000 sq mi (22,401,000 sq km);… …   English World dictionary

  • Union of Soviet Socialist Republics — a former federal union of 15 constituent republics, in E Europe and W and N Asia, comprising the larger part of the former Russian Empire: dissolved in December 1991. 8,650,069 sq. mi. (22,402,200 sq. km). Cap.: Moscow. Also called Russia, Soviet …   Universalium

  • Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.) — or Soviet Union Former republic, eastern Europe and northern and central Asia. Area: 8,649,512 sq mi (22,402,235 sq km). It consisted, in its final years, of 15 soviet socialist republics that gained independence at its dissolution: Armenia,… …   Universalium

  • Union of Soviet Socialist Republics — noun a former communist country in eastern Europe and northern Asia; established in 1922; included Russia and 14 other soviet socialist republics (Ukraine and Byelorussia and others); officially dissolved 31 December 1991 (Freq. 2) • Syn: ↑Soviet …   Useful english dictionary

  • Union of Soviet Socialist Republics — or Soviet Union geographical name country 1922 91 E Europe & N Asia bordering on the Arctic & Pacific oceans & Baltic & Black seas; a union of 15 constituent republics capital Moscow area 8,649,512 square miles (22,402,236 square kilometers) …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Union of Soviet Socialist Republics — Un′ion of So′viet So′cialist Repub′lics n. geg a former federal union of 15 constituent republics, in E Europe and N Asia, comprising the larger part of the earlier Russian Empire: dissolved in December 1991. 8,650,069 sq. mi. (22,402,200 sq. km) …   From formal English to slang

  • Union of Soviet Socialist Republics — federal union of 15 constituent republics occupying most of N Eurasia; 1922–91 …   Webster's Gazetteer

  • Union of Soviet Socialist Republics — Union of So|vi|et So|cia|list Re|pub|lics, the the full name of the Soviet Union …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Union of Soviet Socialist Republics — (USSR)    See Dissolution of the Soviet Union …   Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation

  • Union of Soviet Socialist Republics —  (Abbr. USSR.) In Russian, Soyuz Sovyetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik; ceased to exist in 1991. See also Soviet Union …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors


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