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Ronald Lauder told Putin during Tuesday's meeting that the Russian leader had kept the promise he made during their last meeting, in 2003, to fight anti-Semitism. Lauder noted that at the time synagogues in Russia were coming under attack.
The American businessman, speaking through a translator, said anti-Semitism was down to a "minimal level" in Russia, while in Europe it still "raises its head."
The Russian president noted that "Judaism is one of Russia’s four traditional religions and, like the other traditional religions, receives constant support from the authorities."
"Russian Jewish organizations make a significant contribution to political stabilization in Russia, for which we are very grateful," he said.
Putin caused a stir in January when he proposed that Jews feeling under threat in Europe should come to Russia, where they would be accepted.