A Russian government statement stressing Moscow’s commitment to the two-state solution for the Palestinians and Israelis raised eyebrows by mentioning the possible recognition of West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
“Moscow reaffirms its support for the two-state solution as an optimal option that meets the national interests of the Palestinian and Israeli people, both of whom have friendly relations with Russia, and the interests of all other countries in the region and the international community as a whole,” said a statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry on April 6.
“We reaffirm our commitment to the UN-approved principles for a Palestinian-Israeli settlement, which include the status of East Jerusalem as the capital of the future Palestinian state. At the same time, we must state that in this context we view West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” the statement added.
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said Israel was “studying” the Russia statement, which appears to have taken Israeli media by surprise.
“No other country in the world recognises any part of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital,” wrote the Jerusalem Post, noting: “This is a sharp shift in Russian policy, which until now has formally held that Jerusalem should eventually be under a permanent international regime.”