Putin Proposes Inviting Israeli Prime Minister To Opening Of Synagogue In Crimea
Faizan Hashmi 3 years ago Mon 18th March 2019 | 09:46 PM
Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed on Monday the idea to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the opening of a synagogue in Crimea
"Your colleague to your right asked you to invite [Turkish] President [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan [to the opening of a mosque in Crimea], let's also invite Israeli Prime Minister, let him visit the opening of the synagogue," Putin suggested in response.
"I hope that Jews in Crimea will play the same positive role. Judaism is also among our traditional denominations, traditional religions, and I am very pleased that religious life is developing here, in Crimea," the president said.
He went on to note that he had personally accepted the words of gratitude expressed by the rabbi for the fact that life in the republic and the Jewish community had improved after Crimea's reunification with Russia.
"But we must pay tribute to the leaders of the region, both of Crimea and Sevastopol. In fact, they allocate this land, it is ultimately their decision, as well as of the members of the respective parliaments. So let's thank them too," the president added.
Crimea's reunification with Russia was officially declared on March 18, 2014, after almost 97 percent of residents who voted in a referendum on the issue chose in favor of the move. The reunification was not recognized by Ukraine or Western states, which subsequently imposed economic and political sanctions on Moscow. Russia has repeatedly stated that the referendum was conducted in compliance with international law. Putin has said that the issue of Crimea's territorial belonging is "historically closed," since Crimea's residents decided to rejoin Russia in accordance with democratic procedures.