By Itamar Eichner
An American official from the US Embassy in Israel has commented for the first time since Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel gave Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev a drone as a gift worth 200,000 shekels which was being used by researchers at the Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center.
“The US demands information from the Israeli authorities in order to determine whether there was American technology in the drone,” the official said days after Uriel’s humiliating and potentially consequential blunder.
During his visit to Israel last week, Medvedev conducted a tour of the institute where he was shown a number of agricultural developments and projects on which the researchers have been working.
One of the items shown to the Russian premier was a drone used for irrigation research purposes. ‘Calcalist,’ Yedioth Ahronoth’s finance paper, published on Monday that Ariel noticed the great interest Medvedev had shown in this specific drone and therefore approached his chief of staff to request that it be given to Medvedev as a gift.
Workers from the institute, who realized that they were about to lose a vital asset for their research, tried to prevent gesture but were unsuccessful. However, they did succeed in stopping Uriel from also giving Medvedev the drone’s operating system worth 100,000 shekels.
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