Russian diplomats celebrate National Day in Jerusalem
According to Russian diplomatic sources, the Embassy of Russian Federation in Israel is hosting its annual National Day (12 June) reception in Jerusalem, in a gesture of recognition of West Jerusalem as capital of State of Israel not only de jure in statements, but also de facto.
Russia’s incoming Ambassador H.E. Anatoly Viktorov has invited guests to the reception (reportedly celebrated on 14th of June) at Sergei’s Courtyard.
Sergei’s Courtyard constructed in 1889, but sometimes still referred to as New Courtyard, a part of a historic complex in the Jerusalem neighborhood known as the Russian Compound (pictured), which Israeli authorities handed to Russia a decade ago in a goodwill gesture.
At present Russia remains committed to the decisions of the United Nations on the status of Jerusalem. In April 2017, Russian Foreign Ministry (MFA) issued a statement on the “urgent need” for resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, underlining its firm commitment to the decisions of the United Nations on the principles of settlement, including the status of East Jerusalem as the capital of the future Palestinian state.
However “at the same time, we consider it necessary to declare that in this context we consider West Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel” – the statement of Russian MFA concluded.
On December 6, Dmitry Peskov, Kremlin spokesperson, reaffirmed Russia‘s position to support the immediate resumption of direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations on “all controversial issues, including the status of Jerusalem.”
In June 2017, the Israeli authorities suggested to Russian government to move the embassy to Jerusalem, but in response the diplomats said that Russia has no intention to do so until Israel and Palestine have settled their bilateral relations.