Moscow took issue with Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights and Jerusalem just prior to its attack on Ukraine.
“Russia doesn’t recognize Israel’s sovereignty over Golan Heights that are part of #Syria,” its deputy ambassador, Dmitry Polyanskiy, told the UN Security Council, which held a debate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Wednesday.
The monthly Security Council meeting took place as the General Assembly debated the Russian-Ukrainian crisis.
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Polyanskiy spoke just hours after Israel broke its neutrality on the conflict, as it gave a nod in support of Ukraine.
Moscow has presented itself in its conflict with Ukraine as the supporter of the Russian-speaking population in the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine.
At the Security Council, Russia reminded Israel that it stands with Syria, where it is militarily entrenched, regarding Damascus’ demand that Israel returns the Golan, which the IDF captured during the defensive Six-Day War in 1967.
Israel annexed the Golan in 1981, but to date, the United States is the only country that recognizes that sovereignty. In December, the cabinet approved a NIS-1-billion plan to increase Israel’s population on the Golan, including through the creation of two new towns.
Polyanskiy recalled that decision when he said that Russia was “concerned over Tel Aviv’s announced plans for expanding settlement activity in the occupied Golan Heights, which contradicts the provisions of the 1949 Geneva Convention.”
He also indirectly took issue in his comments with Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem, including west Jerusalem.
In 2017, Moscow said it recognized west Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. But Polyanskiy appeared on Wednesday to ignore that recognition of Israel’s government, using Tel Aviv as a synonym for Israel’s government.
It is a phrase used only by those countries who mean to convey that they do not recognize Israeli sovereignty over any part of its capital city.