In a sign of growing tension between Jerusalem and Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov plans to hold the monthly United Nations Security Council meeting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on April 24th, the day of Israel’s Remembrance Day for its fallen soldiers and terror victims.
Moscow dismissed Jerusalem’s request to change the date. Israel’s Ambassador to the UN in New York wrote a follow-up letter asking Moscow to reconsider, which was also rejected.
“This day holds deep significance to the State of Israel,” wrote Erdan to the Russian Mission in New York, whose Ambassador Vassily A. Nebenzia holds the rotating UNSC Presidency this month.
“This is a holy and special day for all Israelis, and scheduling an Open Debate on Remembrance Day, during which relevant sides address the Security Council, does not meet the basic requirements for such a debate and is exceedingly inappropriate,” Erdan said.
“As President of the Security Council, the Russian Federation is required to play a neutral role, yet scheduling an open debate, in which Israel is requested to participate, on Israel’s Remembrance Day, shows indifference and dishonor to this hallowed day, and will directly impact my ability to represent Israel accordingly,” he added.
Russian decision comes as Israeli support for Ukraine grows
Moscow’s decision to push forward with the meeting in which UNSC members often bash Israel for its treatment of the Palestinians comes amid growing Israeli opposition to Russia’s war on Ukraine.
Foreign Minister Eli Cohen visited Kyiv in February pledging additional humanitarian aid and Israel has backed anti-Russia resolutions at the United Nations.
While in New York Lavrov is scheduled to meet Monday, with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to discuss a UN and Turkey-brokered deal through which Ukraine exports grain despite the war.
Russia has indicated that it will not allow the Black Sea export deal put in place last July to continue beyond May 18 because a list of demands to facilitate its own grain and fertilizer exports has not been met.