24 Oct 2023 15:14

Moscow in contact with all Mideast conflict sides to free Russian hostages - Peskov

MOSCOW. Oct 24 (Interfax) - Russia is using all opportunities to keep in touch with both sides in the Middle East conflict, including to secure the release of Russian citizens who may be held hostage there, Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said.

"We are using all opportunities available to us for contacts with both sides in the conflict, with all sides who are related to this conflict," Peskov told reporters.

"We have been unable thus far [to agree on the release of Russian hostages], but we will continue these efforts," he said commenting on reports about the release of two U.S. hostages taken captive by Hamas and after being asked how the Kremlin assesses the Russian hostages' chances to be freed given Moscow's contacts with Hamas.

Peskov declined to disclose the exact number of Russian hostages and number of Russian citizens killed during the latest conflict escalation.

"We are continuing our contacts with all sides in order to ensure that these figures are accurate," he said.

The situation in the region remains uncertain, Peskov said.

"You shouldn't have any reason not to trust our embassy's reports. [...] Its's a real war, so new figures can't be ruled out. It is certainly undesirable, but, nevertheless, the situation is increasingly tense," he said, when asked whether the Russian embassy's information on the deaths of 20 Russians was the most accurate at present.

At least two Russian citizens, who are also citizens of Israel, are being held hostage, Russian Ambassador to Israel Anatoly Viktorov told Izvestia on October 20.