President Jonathan Arkush meets Putin as part of delegation of European Jews
20 January 2016
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Board President Jonathan Arkush met Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday as part of a European Jewish Congress delegation in Moscow.

Jonathan raised Israel issues with the President. Subjects including antisemitism in western Europe, extremism and terrorism were also discussed.

After the meeting Jonathan said: “For European Jewish leaders to have an in-depth conversation lasting over well over an hour with President Putin was significant. I was tasked with asking the President about obsessive hostility to Israel at the UN and Russian weaponry falling into the hands of Hezbollah in Syria.  President Putin listened respectfully and with care. He answered us directly and at times robustly.

“Our meeting was strikingly friendly.  As someone with a background of activism in the campaign for Soviet Jewry I see the encounter as a clear sign of warming relations and trust between Russia and the Jewish people and Israel.  I do not believe it will be the last such meeting.”

He added: “I was proud that our delegation singled out the strong record of the UK in combating antisemitism, and the determination of Prime Minister David Cameron to support the community in fighting it.”