Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to pardon Naama Issachar, 26, widely believed to have been jailed in Moscow to pressure Israel to release Russian hacker Alexei Burkov, who has been imprisoned here since 2015.Issachar was sentenced last week to seven-and-a-half years in jail for possession of nine grams of marijuana. She was arrested in the airport in Moscow in April, en route to Tel Aviv from India. Russian authorities found the pot in her checked luggage that was not with her in the airport in Moscow. On Sunday, President Reuven Rivlin sent Putin a letter asking him to pardon Issachar. On Tuesday, both Netanyahu and Rivlin forwarded a pardon request.News of the link between Burkov and Issachar was publicized only last week. The United States has asked Israel to extradite Burkov, who is suspected of cyber offenses, and the Supreme Court has already ruled he could be extradited.Justice Minister Amir Ohana is studying the matter and is expected to decide soon whether to sign off on the extradition request.Russian Ambassador Antoly Viktorov told KAN news that the issue of Issachar had not created a crisis between the two countries.“Many people could not stay indifferent to the fate of this lady,” he said. “According to the Russia court she committed the crime. According to our legislation she was sentenced. The decision was made. Let’s see what the next step” is.Viktorov explained that Russia has tried for several years to sway Israel to release Burkiov, adding that he was aware of the requests for a pardon for Issachar. “We will continue to defend the interests of Alexei Borkov and any other Russian citizen abroad,” Viktorov said. In the end it is Putin who will decide, he added.Issachar’s family thanked Netanyahu for his “diplomatic determination” and his “compassion as both a human being and a father. We hope the prime minister’s good relationship with President Putin will help secure Naama’s release from the Russian jail after she was indicted for an offense she did not commit.”Naama’s mother, Yafa, who is in Russia to help her daughter, told Channel 12 that the “waiting” and the “uncertainty” was very stressful, but that she hoped Netanyahu’s personal involvement would be determinative.She told KAN news that when her daughter learned of the connection between herself and Burkov, she had asked, “How did he become part of my life?”Burkov was moved to a different cell on Tuesday so that he could be better observed by authorities.He has appealed to Ohana not to extradite him to the US, explaining that it would be against the European Convention on Extradition to which Israel is a party, according to the Israeli media. It is his preference to be returned to Russia.