Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Israel is a Russian-speaking country, and Russians and Israelis are one family with a shared history, reports Channel 24. According to the Russian President, the two countries are linked by family, kinship, and friendship ties.
"I say that without any exaggeration. There are almost two million Russian-speaking citizens of Israel in the country. We consider Israel a Russian-speaking state," said Putin.
The statement was made during the conference of Keren Hayesod International Jewish Charitable Foundation. The audience applauded and laughed during his speech.
Russian President noted that he is expecting the Israeli leadership to come to Moscow for the celebrations of May 9.
Currently, there is a dispute between Israel and Russia about the feasibility of airstrikes on Syrian and Iraq targets. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried to convince Putin not to interfere with Israel's military operations in Syria, but Putin insists that Russia will not let Israel harm the Syrian Armed Forces, because the Kremlin continues to support Bashar al-Assad's regime.