MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has held a phone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during which the latter asked for assistance in fighting fires, the Kremlin press service reported Thursday.
"Russian President Vladimir Putin held a phone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. They discussed the situation with forest fires in Israel. The Israeli side asked for assistance and Vladimir Putin pledged to give instructions to Russia's Emergencies Ministry to urgently send special aircraft and the required equipment to the area," the statement said.
According to Israeli government press service, Moscow has promised to immediately send two Be-200 amphibious aircraft to Israel to help extinguish wildfires that have been raging in various parts of the country since the start of the week.
"President Putin has immediately responded to prime minister's request to provide assistance in fighting fires and said that Russia would immediately send two big Be-200 amphibious aircraft," the press service said.
Greece and Cyprus have already sent their aircraft to assist Israel in the fight against wildfires.
The Beriev Be-200 is well suited to firefighting missions. It can take in up to 12.5 metric tons of water in the space of a few seconds while traveling over a body of water before dropping the load on the flames.