Ukraine planning to open diplomatic office in Jerusalem

'My country recognizes the one and only capital of Israel, and that is Jerusalem,' Ukrainian Ambassador to Israel Yevhen Korniichuk said on Thursday.

VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY   (photo credit: TNS)
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY
(photo credit: TNS)

Ukraine is in the final planning stages before opening a diplomatic office in Jerusalem, Ukrainian Ambassador to Israel Yevhen Korniichuk said on Thursday.

“My country recognizes the one and only capital of Israel, and that is Jerusalem,” Korniichuk said at an event marking 30 years of relations between Ukraine and Israel.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is expected to visit Israel next year and open a branch of the embassy in Jerusalem dedicated to promoting economic and technological cooperation, the ambassador said.

Following the event, the ambassador further clarified that the embassy office is not final yet, but that he discussed it with Zelensky in October, and that it is likely a matter of months before the office in Jerusalem can be opened.

Several countries have opened similar offices in Jerusalem as a way of recognizing Israeli sovereignty in its capital city, including Colombia, Brazil, the Czech Republic and Hungary. The US moved its embassy to Jerusalem in 2018, and Guatemala and Honduras followed suit; Kosovo opened its first embassy to Israel in Jerusalem.

 UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT Volodymyr Zelensky takes part in a commemoration ceremony for the victims of Babyn Yar, in Kyiv, Ukraine last week. (credit: Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS) UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT Volodymyr Zelensky takes part in a commemoration ceremony for the victims of Babyn Yar, in Kyiv, Ukraine last week. (credit: Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS)

Most countries do not recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and have their embassies in the Tel Aviv area.

President Isaac Herzog visited Ukraine earlier this year, where he and Zelensky marked 80 years since the Babi Yar massacre, in which Nazi forces killed tens of thousands of Jews.

Herzog invited Zelensky to visit Israel during the trip, and the Ukrainian president accepted.