On Tuesday at the Moscow meeting with leaders of a number of American Jewish organizations Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that preservation of a multinational and multi-confessional peace and accord in the country was "a priority objective." The Russian President indicated that "such contacts are becoming a good tradition." He was hopeful that Russian counterparts described the life of the Russian Jewish community to their American guests, their problems and ways to resolve them.
Putin indicated that certain facilities connected with the Jewish community in Russia "were Russia's objects of pride." Among them he mentioned the synagogue in Maryina Roscha (Moscow) which housed a Jewish cultural center and "represented a rather unique installation, maybe the only one in the world." The President reported that he just had a telephone conversation with Abu Mazen, head of the Palestinian government, and Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon. Putin stated that "Sharon asked him to convey his best wishes to the guests." In his turn Berl Lazar, chief Russian rabbi, reassured that after that meeting contacts between the Russian and American Jewish communities would become even closer and that "would affect Russian-American relations which both communities wished to improve." Lazar also reported that representatives of American Jewish communities had a meeting "with Natan Sharansky, a prominent representative of the Russian Jewish community and an Israeli vice premier." Having heard that Sharansky was described as a member of the Russian Jewish community Putin stated that "he would not object if members of the Russian Jewish community were represented in the Israeli government and may be in governments of other states."
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