Jerusalem, 29 May 2001

PM Sharon speaks with Russian PM Putin
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Russian President Vladimir Putin called Prime Minister Ariel Sharon today, before his meeting with Arafat, and requested the Prime Minister’s evaluation of current events, as well as what Russia could do to be of assistance.

Prime Minister Sharon said that the most important assistance Russia could extend would be to exert pressure on Arafat to effect a total ceasefire and a halting of the incitement. This would be the most imperative and most pressing matter, as Arafat has escalated the terror attacks against Israel.

The Prime Minister said that Israel announced a unilateral ceasefire, but a situation is developing where Israel will not be able to restrain itself indefinitely. Prime Minister Sharon and President Putin agreed to continue their close contacts.