On the evening of 8 June at a reception hosted by the Embassy of Russia in tel Aviv on the occasion of Russia Day, the Minister for Jerusalem Affairs and national heritage, environment Minister Zeev Elkin (Likud) called on Russia to relocate the Embassy from tel Aviv to Jerusalem before on the same step will be decided by the Americans, the correspondent of TASS Andrey Shirokov.
«I cannot not offer you to take advantage of the semi-annual respite that took the American President, and in this constant friendly confrontation between the United States and Russia to win to become the first country to move its Embassy to Jerusalem,» said Elkin.
We will remind that on 19 may the Russian newspaper «Izvestia» published an article entitled «Jerusalem is waiting for the Russian embassies». The authors Yury Bogdanov and Tatyana Baykova wrote: «Moscow is ready for a transfer of the diplomatic missions in Israel and Palestine, if the parties will achieve progress in the negotiation process.»
The publication, citing Russian diplomatic sources affirmed that Russia is ready to move its Embassy in Israel and Palestine in the Western and the Eastern part of Jerusalem, provided that this will be preceded by progress in the negotiations between the parties.
«Russia have recognized the status of East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state along with recognition of West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Russia will be able to speak about the transfer of their diplomatic missions after the Palestinian-Israeli conflict will be resolved or there will be positive developments in the negotiation process. Moscow thus made it clear what position she holds, and encourages the parties to sit down at the negotiating table», – said «Izvestia» a source in the Russian diplomatic circles.
In the same publication cited Zeev Elkin: «Israel is waiting for the embassies of all countries of the world will be moved to Jerusalem. All the institutions of the country operate in this city. Moreover, when foreign delegations arrive, take them in Jerusalem. Of course, Israel is able to ensure the safety of all diplomatic missions». The desire to move all foreign embassies in Jerusalem and have repeatedly stated the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu.
Palestinian Ambassador to Russia, Abdul-Hafez Nofal told «Izvestia» that the Ramallah sees no problems in the transfer of the Russian Embassy to West Jerusalem under the following conditions: Israel must accept the principle of «two States for two peoples,» Jerusalem should become a «free city», the Eastern part which is part of Palestine, and the Western – part of Israel, then the Russian Embassy in Palestine can be transferred into East Jerusalem and the Embassy in Israel – in the West.
Quotes from the interview of Russia’s Ambassador to edition NEWSru Israel.co.il
In February of this year, the Ambassador of Russia in Israel Alexander Shein in an interview with NEWSru.co.il commented on the initiative to transfer the U.S. Embassy from tel Aviv to Jerusalem: «This question has a fairly deep backstory. Trump was not the first presidential candidate of the United States, which raised the question about necessity of execution of decisions of the Congress (1996) to transfer the American Embassy to Jerusalem. Then accepted the waiver (waiver is a temporary waiver), which delayed the implementation of this law… It’s a difficult question. First, why do it? To make it easier to work with, because all Ministry in Jerusalem? Or as a sign of recognition of Jerusalem as the United and undivided eternal capital of Israel? If it is recognition, then it negates everything that was made by the Americans, as with the Soviet Union by the co-chairs of the Madrid conference (in 1991), then being together with Russia, co-sponsors of the peace process, and then – since 2002 – as members of the international Quartet of middle East mediators. Then there are all the foundations of the peace process. Because the peace process is built on the fact that the problems of Jerusalem, refugees, borders, settlements will be resolved in the Israeli-Palestinian final status negotiations… And they were, these final status negotiations… That is the question is, what is the motivation of this transfer: recognition of Jerusalem as the capital or a shift in Western Jerusalem on the understanding that Jerusalem can be divided into East and West, as the capital of two States for two peoples. I have not seen any comprehensive explanation by the administration to trump this. So hard to judge. The only thing we can already judge by the reaction is that the transfer of the Embassy, of course, will cause a shitstorm in the Arab and Islamic world.»
In conversation with the Ambassador of Russia chief editor of NEWSru.co.il Evgeny Finkel then asked this question: «Imagine a hypothetical situation: Israel offers Russia to move the Embassy in the Jewish state in Jerusalem, opening at the same time, the Russian Embassy in the Arab Palestine, say, in Abu dis. Moscow could consider such a proposal?» Ambassador Shein noted that such proposals have been received. He added: «we Have our own head on his shoulders. If the Americans decide something, we must attend to the fact that it is impossible to keep up with the Americans? «Having lifted up trousers, to run behind Komsomol» we are not going».