The project is aimed at publishing the first documentary history of Soviet-Israeli diplomatic relations. The major innovative feature of this project is its multi-dimensional perspective on the development of diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and Israel. Previously, historians were confined in constructing narratives to sources available in American, European and Israeli archives. With the introduction of documents from Russian archives into scholarly currency, a new window has been opened on Soviet-Israeli diplomatic history. The collection focuses on the Soviet decision to recognize Israel, Soviet involvement in arms deals between Czechoslovakia and Israel prior to the War of Independence, severance of relations in 1953, Soviet encroachment into the region, the Suez campaign and the 1967 War.

The project is made possible by a bilateral agreement on joint publication of the documents which was signed in Moscow in March 1993 by officials of the Israeli and Russian foreign ministries. It is a joint enterprise involving the State Archives of Israel, under its director Prof. Eviatar Friezel and Dr. Yehoshua Freundlich; the Department of History and Records of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, headed by Dr. Petr Stegny; and Prof. Yaacov Ro'i, Prof. Gabriel Gorodetsky and Dr. Dov Yaroshevski of the Cummings Center.

The first volume, covering the years 1941-53 consists of approximately 500 documents chosen mostly from the Archive of Foreign Policy of the Russian Federation (Moscow) and the Central Zionist Archives and State Archives of Israel (Jerusalem). The English edition is entitled Documents on Israeli-Soviet Relations, 1941-1953 (London: Frank Cass, 2000) and the Russian edition published by the  Russian Foreign Ministry, appeared simultaneously.