On Thursday, the Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed that international communication had been opened with the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas. The Ministry explained that Moscow recognises Hamas as a movement that retains the confidence of a large segment of the Palestinians people who have both its sympathy and trust. It also explained that contact between Moscow and the movement occurs regularly.
Andre Neterenko, spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, said in a statement that “Moscow does not consider Hamas an artificial organisation; rather it considers it one which relies on the confidence of a large portion of the Palestinian people who sympathise with it.” He went on to highlight that “it is well known that Hamas won the majority of votes during the parliamentary elections held in the Palestinian territories in 2006 and which the international community deemed free and fair.”
The Russian official emphasised that “contacts between us and Hamas are maintained regularly; just as it is well known that other members of the international Quartet on the Middle East have contact with Hamas in one way or another. However, for some incomprehensible reason, they shy away from admitting so publicly.”
An earlier meeting between Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, and the leader of Hamas’ political bureau, Khaled Meshaal met with disappointment and condemnation from Israel which has unleashed its anger on Medvedev. Israel’s foreign minister has also rejected the invitation by Medvedev and Turkish Prime Minister, Abdullah Gul, to involve Hamas in the peace process.