Russia has joined the chorus of international voices cautioning Israel against going ahead with its plan to annex West Bank settlements by July 1.
At the Russian National Day reception that he hosted in Jaffa last week, Russian ambassador Anatoly Viktorov stated: "We believe that the realization of intentions to apply Israeli sovereignty to parts of the West Bank would be a very dangerous development. Israel’s annexation of part of the Palestinian territories would cross out the prospects of a Palestinian-Israeli settlement and provoke a new round of violence."We reaffirm our principled position in favor of the two-state solution of resolving the problem on a universally recognized international legal basis," he said. "We emphasize the need to seek the speediest resumption of direct negotiations between the Israeli and Palestinian sides under the auspices of the United Nations, to resolve all issues of final status and achieve a comprehensive peace agreement based on UN resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative."
The statement was made in the presence of Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, as well as several heads of diplomatic missions from other countries.
It was Ashkenazi's first diplomatic reception of this kind since taking office, and afforded him the opportunity to meet with several ambassadors whom he may not have known previously.
Viktorov also made the point that Russian diplomacy seeks to help in maintaining global and regional security in every dimension."We stand for preserving and strengthening the central role of the United Nations in world affairs, and the inviolability of the principles of international life enshrined in its charter," he said. "Among our priorities are the fight against international terrorism, including in Syria, the promotion of the political process in this country, and the contribution to settlement of conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa."The ambassador added that "an important step towards improving the situation in this region could be the implementation of the Russian Collective Security Concept in the Persian Gulf." Presented in July 2019 to relevant parties at the Russian Foreign Ministry, The main principles of the concept are "incrementalism, multilateralism and strict observance of international law, primarily the UN Charter and the Security Council resolutions."
Viktorov also dwelt extensively on the contribution of the Red Army to the defeat of Nazi Germany, and was pleased that monuments to this victory exist in Israel.