Bishkek: Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed his support for the creation of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital while acknowledging Israel’s right to self-defense against Hamas attacks. Putin made the remarks at the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on Friday, where he met with leaders of former Soviet republics.
Putin said that Russia adheres to the principle of a negotiated solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, based on the two-state formula of the United Nations. He said that this is the only way to achieve lasting and comprehensive peace in the region. He also condemned the “unprecedented cruelty” of Hamas’ rocket fire on Israel and said that Israel has the right to protect itself and ensure its peaceful existence.
Putin’s visit to Kyrgyzstan was his first trip abroad since the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for him in March, accusing him of war crimes for the deportation of Ukrainian children during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022. Kyrgyzstan and China, which Putin is expected to visit next week for the third Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, are not members of the ICC and do not recognize its jurisdiction.
During his meeting with Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov, Putin reaffirmed Russia’s role as a major trade partner and investor in Kyrgyzstan and pledged to enhance bilateral cooperation. Putin praised the growth of Russian-Kyrgyz trade, which some Western analysts suspect may be linked to Russian businesses circumventing the sanctions imposed against Russia.