Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called IDF soldier Gilad Schalit's continued captivity "intolerable," and said it was "a humanitarian issue" of great importance, according to European Jewish leaders who met with Lavrov on Tuesday.
The talks were part of a series of meetings between the EJC and Russian leaders this week that will culminate in a Thursday meeting with both Lavrov and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
Lavrov made the remarks about Schalit after EJC President Moshe Kantor handed the foreign minister a copy of a children's book created from a story Gilad Schalit wrote when he was 11 years old, titled When the Shark and the Fish First Met.
The Jewish leaders asked Lavrov to wield Russian influence in the Middle East "to help solve this issue."
According to the EJC, Lavrov said he was in constant communication with the Schalit family and that the Russian government stood ready to provide assistance at any time.