President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday told Jewish leaders that Moscow has engaged in diplomatic efforts to free Israeli hostages in Gaza and achieved “certain results.”
Putin discussed the issue during a meeting at the Kremlin with Russian Chief Rabbi HaRav Berel Lazar and the head of the Federation of Jewish Communities, HaRav Alexander Boroda, in honor of a conference of Jewish kehillos currently being held in Moscow.
Putin said: “You’re aware that following the escalation of the situation in the Middle East, Russia is doing everything it can to aid the people being held hostage. Our Foreign Ministry is using its contacts with Hamas’s political wing and we achieved ‘certain results.’ Of course, we’re prioritizing Russian citizens but not only them – but all the citizens of other countries – and this includes the elderly who survived the Holocaust and their relatives.”
Putin continued: “As I said, there are already ‘certain results’ – but I understand that we need to continue these efforts. That’s what we’re doing and I wanted to discuss these efforts with you personally.”
In November, Roni Krivoi, a 25-year-old Israeli with Russian citizenship, was released from Gaza at Putin’s request. He is the only adult male hostage who was freed from captivity in Gaza.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)