Russian President Vladimir Putin called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, reportedly offering his help in preventing a humanitarian disaster, while also sharing information about recent calls with regional leaders.
During the call, Putin offered his condolences over the considerable number of deaths, with over 1,300 Israelis dying on Oct. 7 when Hamas-led terrorists poured into the country in a brutal attack against Israel.
Reuters reported that according to the Kremlin, Putin said he was willing to work toward ‘ending the Palestinian-Israeli confrontation and achieving a peaceful settlement through political and diplomatic means.’
But the Russian read out of the call, the newswire noted, did not mention anything about a ceasefire sought by Russia, which introduced a resolution on the matter with the United Nations Security Council.
Putin also told Netanyahu about conversations he has had with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
‘A unanimous opinion was expressed on the need for an early ceasefire and the establishment of a humanitarian truce in order to urgently provide assistance to all those in need,’ the Kremlin said of those conversations. ‘There was also serious concern about the likelihood of the conflict escalating into a regional war.’
After the meeting, Netanyahu’s office provided a statement on the meeting.
‘Israeli Pm Netanyahu spoke this evening with Russian President Vladimir Putin,’ the translated statement read. ‘The PM clarified that Israel was attacked by despicable and cruel murderers, and went into a war determined, and united, and will not stop until it will destroy Hamas’ military and governmental capabilities.’
Russia has also continuously blamed failed U.S. policies for putting conditions in place that sparked the most recent violence in the Middle East. Russia has long had warm relations with Iran, which considers the United States the ‘Great Satan’ and Israel the ‘Little Satan.’ Iran has provided drones and other support for Russia’s war in Ukraine. Iran also backs Hamas financially and with training and other support, and has openly cheered the latest attacks on Israel.
Putin said publicly last week that Israel had a right to defend itself against Hamas, but executing a ground offensive in Gaza would lead to the killing of an ‘absolutely unacceptable’ number of civilians.
When Putin and Raisi spoke, Iranian state media reported, the president of Iran said supporting Palestinians was Iran’s foreign policy priority, though ‘resistance’ groups were responsible for their own decisions.
‘There is a possibility of the conflict between Israel and Palestinians expanding to other fronts,’ Raisi said, according to Iranian state media.
Reuters contributed to this report.