Moscow – A delegation of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) and the Russian Jewish Congress (RJC), led by WJC President Ronald S. Lauder, was received on Tuesday at the Kremlin by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
During the 90-minute-long conversation, the two sides exchanged views on the situation of Jews in Russia, and also on the situation in the Middle East and a number of other issues. Lauder praised the good relations between Israel and Russia, and called on the Russian leader to show more support for Israel in international bodies such as the United Nations.
Ronald S. Lauder told Vladimir Putin that the Jewish people are very grateful for the good relationship between Russia and the State of Israel and called on him to translate this into more international support in organizations like the United Nations Human Rights Council.
The WJC president also stressed that Iran’s continued support of militant groups posed a serious threat both to Israel and to Jewish communities worldwide.
In welcoming the delegation, Russian President Putin said: “The World Jewish Congress is a very well-known and influential international non-governmental organization. As far as I know, the organization has existed for 80 years now and you do a lot to provide religious and secular support to Jews all around the world.”
Putin praised the contribution of Russian Jewish organizations to public life: “As you know, we here in Russia have very close and regular contacts with not only Russian Jewish organizations, but European ones too. Russia’s Jewish organizations make a big contribution to our internal stabilization, and we are very grateful to our friends for this.”
“Judaism is one of Russia’s four traditional religions and, like the other traditional religions, receives constant support from the authorities,” Putin highlighted. The Russian president also transmitted to the WJC delegation his congratulations on the upcoming Passover holiday.
Lauder commends Putin for fighting anti-Semitism
Lauder also praised Russia for ensuring that its Jews continue to live an active and peaceful life. Jews have been part of the social fabric of Russia for more than 1,300 years, Lauder said, and have contributed to all areas of life – culture, science, academia and others. Lauder commended Putin for fighting anti-Semitism in Russia.
In addition to Lauder, the delegates present at the meeting in the Kremlin included World Jewish Congress CEO Robert Singer, Euro-Asian Jewish Congress President Julius Meinl, Russian Jewish Congress President Yuri Kanner, and WJC/RJC Vice-President Mikhail Mirilashvili.
Robert Singer said: “It was an outstanding meeting. Many issues and ideas were discussed and an organizational structure was put into place for future ongoing contact between the Russian government and the World Jewish Congress.
Russian Jewry has always had a significant role in international Jewish organizations, and the World Jewish Congress is no exception to that. We look forward to many more years of positive Jewish life in Russia and to maintaining good relations with its government.”