Russian President Vladimir Putin attended a summit of a Moscow-dominated alliance of several ex-Soviet nations, praising the growing cooperation despite Western sanctions against Russia. He met in Kyrgyzstan’s capital, Bishkek, with the leaders of most fellow members of the Commonwealth of Independent States. Putin hailed a new deal on joint air defenses with Kyrgyzstan, which would help further bolster military ties. Kyrgyzstan, a member of a Moscow-led security pact, is already home to a Russian air base.
Putin also downplayed Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s failure to attend the summit, citing the burden of reclaiming control of Nagorno-Karabakh and accusing Russian peacekeepers of failing to prevent hostilities. Russia has been irked by Armenia’s move to recognize the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court after indicting Putin in March for war crimes related to the deportation of children from Ukraine. Armenian officials have argued that the move was not aimed against Russia and offered to sign a bilateral agreement to alleviate Moscow’s concern.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has accepted Pashinyan’s invitation to visit Armenia and may do so later. He emphasized the importance of working together with like-minded people from other regions, including the Global South, to resolve the Israel-Hamas war. Putin argued that Israel has the right to defend itself after Hamas’ unprecedented attack and that it has the right to ensure its security. He also criticized the Israeli military onslaught on Gaza, which caused suffering for all residents, including women and children.
Putin stressed that Russia has long-standing ties with both Israel and the Palestinians and could help negotiate a settlement. He was asked about unconfirmed allegations that some Western weapons supplied to Ukraine ended up in the hands of Hamas militants and said he wouldn’t be surprised if some weapons from Ukraine were sold on the black market. He doubted that arms leaks from Ukraine were being done on the level of Ukrainian leadership.