Russia’s Foreign Ministry has acknowledged West Jerusalem as the Israeli capital in a surprise announcement within a statement issued on Thursday.
Russia’s announcement came weeks after the U.S. president Donald Trump had said that he may move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The U.S. and Russia will be the first countries to acknowledge any part of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.
The statement of the Russian Foreign Ministry said, “We reaffirm our commitment to the UN-approved principles for a Palestinian-Israeli settlement, which includes 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.”
According to officials in Jerusalem, this recognition will go into effect once East Jerusalem is admitted as the capital of the Palestinian state. However, Jerusalem Post claimed that it has learned the recognition will go into effect immediately.
Neither the Palestinian nor the Israeli authorities have yet commented on the statements of Russia.
However, Russia’s statement stressed on its adherence to the two-state solution.
In 1949, Israel announced Jerusalem as its capital. However, the United Nations recognises East Jerusalem as a Palestinian City.