‘I will physically block Putin from visiting Rivlin,’ vows mother of Israeli imprisoned in Russia

Naama Issachar’s mother said she would personally prevent Israeli President Reuven Rivlin from hosting Vladimir Putin at the official state residence while her daughter remains in a Moscow prison.

By World Israel News Staff

Yaffa Issachar issued a blunt warning to the president of Israel on Saturday after news broke that he plans to host his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, in Jerusalem in the near future.

“Don’t receive Putin [as a guest] while my [daughter] is held as a bargaining chip,” Issachar said in a letter quoted by Israel’s Channel 13 on Saturday.

Naama Issachar has been imprisoned in Russia since April based on her alleged possession of a small amount of illegal drugs. She received a sentence of over seven years in prison over the minor offense, leading many to view the punishment as politically motivated and tied to the case of a Russian hacker named Aleksey Burkov, whom Israel extradited to the United States in November.

Yaffa Issachar’s reference to use of her daughter as a “bargaining chip” refers to this theory.

In her letter on Saturday, Issachar stated, “I expected you to announce that you will not host the man behind Naama’s incarceration.”

Issachar added that she would “use her own body to block the entry of the Russian delegation, headed by Putin, to Israel’s President’s Residence,” a key location in Jerusalem where heads of state and foreign dignitaries are hosted.

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“It is inconceivable that you, the President of Israel, will receive the President of Russia, with the honor afforded kings, [while he] holds my daughter Naama,” said the imprisoned Israel’s mother.