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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Sharansky to Return

JERUSALEM () -- Israeli Trade Minister Natan Sharansky, a former dissident who spent nine years in a Soviet prison, said Thursday he would return to Russia by the end of the year.

Sharansky, speaking after a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov, said he would go to Russia in late November or December to promote trade between the two countries.

Sharansky has said before that he had no personal desire to return to Russia, but would be willing to go if his job required it. "We will come there to develop our relations," he said.

Sharansky, 48, was convicted of treason in 1977 for allegedly spying on Russia for the United States. He was released from prison in 1986 as part of a deal with the United States, and emigrated to Israel.