Russian President Vladimir Putin sent congratulatory messages to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin on Independence Day, Thursday.
In a message that almost seemed to credit the Red Army with preventing the Holocaust, Putin wrote, “It is symbolic that this year your country’s national holiday coincides with the Day of the great Victory, which rid the world from the brown plague and saved the Jewish people from extermination,” Putin was quoted saying in a statement from the Kremlin. The reference was to Russia’s annual commemorations of the surrender of Nazi Germany in World War II.
According to the Kremlin, Putin hailed Israeli-Russian ties and said he believed the countries would continue to work closely together.
The Russian leader also indicated that his policy of expanding his country’s influence in the Middle East will continue, as he told Netanyahu and Rivlin that Moscow will make additional efforts to reach a “fair comprehensive settlement” in the region and is committed to guaranteeing Israel’s security and future development.