Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

Amid ongoing conflict in the Middle East, Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed support for Israel’s right to defend itself against attacks from Hamas. However, he also emphasized the need for the creation of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Putin made these remarks during the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

According to TASS, Putin stated that negotiations should aim for the implementation of the United Nations’ two-state solution, which would ensure the peaceful coexistence of Israel and an independent Palestinian state. He acknowledged the unprecedented brutality of the recent attacks on Israel and emphasized its right to defend itself. However, he stressed the importance of resolving the issue through peaceful means.

Putin’s visit to Kyrgyzstan is his first foreign trip since the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for him on allegations of war crimes. The trip includes his participation in the CIS summit, where he discussed Russia’s diminishing influence in the region.

While Putin rarely leaves Russia since the deployment of troops in Ukraine in 2022, he is expected to travel to China for the Belt and Road Forum. It’s worth noting that Kyrgyzstan and China are not ICC members and therefore not subject to its jurisdiction.

During a meeting with Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov, Putin reaffirmed Russia’s status as a key trade partner and largest investor in Kyrgyzstan. He commended the significant growth in Russian-Kyrgyz trade, though some Western analysts speculate that this growth may be linked to Russian businesses evading sanctions.

Last week, the central bank of Kyrgyzstan urged local banks to enhance controls to comply with Western sanctions against Moscow. The US has already imposed sanctions on four Kyrgyz companies for re-exporting electronic components and technology to Russia.

Putin is expected to participate in ceremonies marking the 20th anniversary of Russia’s airbase near Kant, Kyrgyzstan, which allows Moscow to exert influence in the region.

The ICC previously issued a warrant for Putin and Russia’s rights commissioner, Maria Lvova-Belova, over allegations of deporting Ukrainian children to Russia. However, Russia, not recognizing the ICC’s authority, dismissed the warrant as illegal. In previous instances, Russia has sent Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov as a diplomatic representative in place of Putin.

(Note: This article is published from a syndicated feed and has not been edited by NDTV staff, except for the headline.)

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