Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov late Monday voiced support for Palestine and offered to send his soldiers to mediate the conflict between Israel and the Hamas militant group.
“I address the leaders of Muslim nations — create a coalition and reach out to those who you call friends, Europe and the whole West, so that they don't bomb peaceful civilians on the pretext of destroying [Hamas] fighters,” Kadyrov said in a post shared on the messaging app Telegram.
“We support Palestine. And we are against this war, which unlike other conflicts can escalate into something bigger,” he continued, adding: “If necessary, our units are ready to act as a peacekeeping force to restore order and counter any troublemakers.”
When asked on Tuesday about the Chechen leader's remarks, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Russia continued to maintain ties with both Palestine and Israel.
“We have long-standing historical ties with the Palestinians, we continue our contacts... but at the same time, we also have our relations with the state of Israel, with whom we also have a lot in common,” Peskov said, noting the "large number" of Russian nationals living in Israel.
Israel has been left reeling following Hamas fighters' unprecedented surprise assault on Saturday, which has since spilled into a major war that has so far claimed over 1,600 lives.
On Monday, Israel launched a total siege on the Gaza Strip, cutting off food, water and electricity supplies, and sparking fears that an already dire humanitarian situation will swiftly deteriorate.
AFP contributed reporting.