Israel and Russia have signed an agreement to increase co-operation on space research and exploration. Anatoly Perminov, head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, made a special visit to Jerusalem to attend the signing ceremony.

The deal enhances cooperation between the Israeli and Russian space agencies in the fields of space research, observation, navigation, medicine and biology in space, research in advanced materials and launchings.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu presided over the ceremony, and said the integration of Israel’s advanced technology with Russia’s developed space infrastructure is “one that could provide major benefits to both countries.”

Israel Space Agency Director Zvi Kaplan said proposed projects include remote sensing of Earth from space, planetary studies and space medicine.

“We have abilities and advantages over many other countries and the fact that Russia, a pioneer in space, wants to acquire Israeli expertise is a great honor for the State of Israel,” Science and Technology Minister Daniel Hershkowitz said at the signing of the agreement.

Though small, Israel’s space program is accredited across the globe. It’s one of only eight countries in the world to have launched an indigenous satellite into space. And, Israel is an expert in satellite technology, products for satellites and ground stations.

The Israel-Russia deal joins other recent agreements between Israel and the space agencies of France, Italy and the European Space Agency.