Russian Ambassador to Israel Alexander Shein said, in a June 9, 2017 interview with the Israeli Russian-language Channel 9 TV, that Russia did not consider Hamas and Hizbullah to be terrorist organizations, since they have not carried out attacks in Russian territory or against Russian interests abroad.
To view this clip on MEMRI TV, click here.
Interviewer: "Let me ask you quite a painful question regarding Russia's attitude toward Hamas and Hizbullah. Let me ask you: Do you in Russia understand that from our perspective, Hamas and Hizbullah are terrorists, who are no different from ISIS? They carry out terror attacks and fire missiles at Israel – and let me remind you that we have many Israelis with Russian citizenship – yet Moscow continues to conduct a dialogue with them."
Alexander Shein: "We do not consider these organizations to be terrorist. True, they are radical organizations, which sometimes adhere to extremist political views. Let me explain why we do not – and can not – designate them as terrorist organizations. Russian law – the Supreme Court, following an appeal by the prosecution – defines terrorist organizations as such when they intentionally conduct acts of terror in Russian territory, or against Russian interests abroad – installations, embassies, offices, or citizens. You equate ISIS [with Hamas and Hizbullah], but we think this is wrong."
Interviewer: "I do equate them, because when rockets were fired at Tel Aviv a few years ago, and people were forced to run for shelter, it was indiscriminate [fire], which did not distinguish between Russian, Israeli, or other passports. They all faced the same rocket fire. So what is rocket fire if not an act of terror or of war?"
Alexander Shein: "Of course we condemn such fire."
Interviewer: "That's all you can say? There are bad terrorists and good terrorists?"
Alexander Shein: "No, we do not consider them to be terrorists at all." [...]