Russia’s foreign minister said last week that his country will not agree to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights unless it is approved by the international community.
Sergey Lavrov was responding to the call by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel to accept his nation’s presence on the Golan Heights, which Israel took from Syria in 1967 during the Six-Day War.
Lavrov, appearing before reporters in Moscow, said that Russian President Vladimir Putin recognizes the importance of the Golan for Israel. Still, he said, “The status of the Golan Heights is determined by the resolutions of the U.N. Security Council. Changing this status bypassing the Security Council, from my perspective, would be a direct violation of these resolutions.”
Relations between Israel and Russia have been strained since the accidental downing last month of a Russian surveillance plane by Syrian anti-aircraft fire in the area of an Israeli airstrike on a facility of the Syrian armed forces. Fifteen Russian troops were killed in the incident, which Russia blames on Israel. PJC