The Russian leadership says it held talks in Qatar with representatives of Hamas regarding the fate of hostages held by the Palestinian Islamist organisation.
“Of course, we met the political leadership,’’ Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said on Thursday, according to Russian news agencies.
He did not share the results of the discussion.
Hamas is reported to be holding more than 220 Israeli hostages in the Gaza Strip, with at least two of them reportedly holding Russian citizenship, according to Moscow.
Russia maintains relations with the Arab world and has a significant number of its own citizens living in Israel.
Moscow has offered its services as a mediator since the outbreak of the latest Gaza conflict.
President Vladimir Putin has attributed the responsibility for the flare-up of violence in the Middle East to the U.S., claiming that U.S. Middle East policy did not address the needs of the Palestinians.
Russia, in turn, has been accused of exploiting the escalation in Israel to divert attention from its own war against Ukraine.
In the UN Security Council, Russia and China recently rejected a draft resolution from the U.S. that emphasised Israel’s right to self-defence and called for a humanitarian ceasefire.
A Russian proposal, which included a demand for a ceasefire, was also voted down. (dpa/NAN)