The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has called for an immediate ceasefire in the Middle East conflict between Israel and Hamas.
This comes as a surprise, given that Putin himself has initiated a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, resulting in an estimated half a million casualties.
Putin's call for a ceasefire was reported by the Russian state news agency Tass.
The Russian leader plans to discuss the situation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
However, Putin has not reached out to Netanyahu to express condolences after the brutal attacks by Hamas, despite having maintained a friendly relationship with him in the past.
Instead, Putin has blamed the West, particularly the United States, for the ongoing conflict. He stated that U.S. policy in the Middle East has failed and has not considered the needs of the Palestinians.
The relationship between Russia and Israel has deteriorated recently, especially after Putin's repeated claims that Russia is fighting "neo-Nazis" in Ukraine. This rhetoric has not been well-received by Netanyahu and his government. Furthermore, Russia has been growing closer to Israel's sworn enemy, Iran, which has further strained relations.
The call for a ceasefire in a conflict he did not start, while ignoring the war he initiated, puts Putin in a paradoxical position. It raises questions about his genuine intentions and adds another layer of complexity to the geopolitical landscape.