Putin: “Everything will be okay” for U.S.-Israeli woman jailed in Russia

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin said during a visit to Israel on Thursday that he had given assurances to the mother of Naama Issachar, a U.S.-Israeli woman jailed in Russia on drug charges, that “everything will be okay” for her daughter.

Israel has called on Russia to release Issachar who was sentenced by a Russian court to seven and a half years in jail on drug offences in October.

The New Jersey-born woman was arrested in April last year after police found nine grams of cannabis in her bags during a stopover at a Moscow airport.

Putin, who is in Jerusalem to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, made the comments at a meeting with Issachar’s mother and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“I have met Naama’s mother. It’s clear to me that she is from a very good, honorable family. I know the position of (Israeli) Prime Minister who is asking me to make an appropriate decision. All this will certainly be taken into account when the final decision is made,” Putin said.

“The mother is very worried, I can see that. I told her and I want to repeat it again: everything will be fine,” he added.

(Reporting by Darya Korsunskaya; writing by Tom Balmforth and Maria Kiselyova; editing by Andrew Osborn)