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More than half a million Russians to visit Israel in 2010 - Lavrov

© RIA Novosti . Eduard Pesov / Go to the photo bankRussian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with his Israeli counterpart Avigdor Lieberman
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with his Israeli counterpart Avigdor Lieberman - Sputnik International
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More than half a million Russian are likely to visit Israel in 2010, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday after talks with his Israeli counterpart Avigdor Lieberman

More than half a million Russian are likely to visit Israel in 2010, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday after talks with his Israeli counterpart Avigdor Lieberman.

"We were pleased to say today that the number of Russian tourists visiting Israel this year will definitely exceed half a million," Lavrov said.

Russia and Israel signed an agreement abolishing their visa regimes in March 2008. The agreement came into effect on September 20, 2008.

The Israeli Ministry of Tourism reported that more than 220,000 Russian tourists have visited the country since the beginning of 2010. The figure for May alone reached 53,000, 60% more than the same month last year.

Russia was the second largest source of visitors to Israel in 2009 after the United States. In April 2010, Russia overtook the United States to become the biggest source of tourists to the country.

JERUSALEM, June 29 (RIA Novosti)

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