A Hamas delegation headed by a member of the organisation’s politburo, Abu Marzook, has arrived in Moscow for an unannounced visit, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova announced on Thursday.
This is the first visit by members of the organisation to Russia since the group launched a massive terror attack on Israeli civilians on 7 October, and will infuriate the Israeli government, whose relations with Moscow have become increasingly strained in recent months.
It was not immediately clear who would be meeting with the Hamas delegation from the Russian side, though Zakharova said that Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Ali Bagheri Kani, was also in Moscow for talks with his Russian counterpart Mikhail Galuzin.
Despite being shunned by much of the international community as a terrorist group, Hamas representatives are regular visitors to Moscow. Just last year, one of the organisation’s leaders, Ismail Haniyeh, came to Moscow to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.