Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that the situation in the Gaza Strip is a "humanitarian catastrophe."
Speaking at a meeting in Moscow with representatives of different religions, Putin said "innocent people must not pay for crimes committed by others."
The president opposed the principle of "collective responsibility," saying in this case, the elderly, women, children and entire families die.
Putin reiterated Russia's position on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, arguing that "this is the key to a long-term and fundamental settlement and peace in the Middle East.”
"The main task is to stop the bloodshed and violence. Otherwise, a further expansion of the crisis is fraught with grave and extremely dangerous, destructive consequences, and not only for the Middle East region. This could spill far beyond the borders of the Middle East," he warned.
He decried attempts by “some forces" to play on religious and national feelings to create instability and chaos for their "venal interests."
"Muslims are incited against Jews...Shia are incited against Sunnis, Orthodox – against Catholics. In Europe, they turn a blind eye to blasphemy and vandalism against what is sacred for Muslims. In a number of countries, Nazi criminals...are openly glorified at the official level," he said.
Ukraine is taking steps to ban the canonical Orthodox Church and deepen the church schism, he noted.
"The goal, in my opinion, of all these actions is obvious – to multiply instability in the world, to divide cultures, peoples, world religions, to provoke a conflict of civilizations – all according to the well-known principle of 'divide and rule.'”
"There is talk about a 'new world order,' the essence of which is actually the same -- hypocrisy, double standards, claims to exclusivity, to global dominance, to preserve the essentially neocolonial system," he added.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.