Russia will support a Palestinian bid for statehood in the United Nations Security Council, the Russian news service Interfax reported on Sunday.
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Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov was quoted in the report as saying that a UN statehood resolution "could serve as a starting point for the renewal of negotiations between Palestine and Israel. Considering that, Russia is prepared to support this resolution, when and if it is put to a vote," according to the Moscow Times which carried the report.
The Palestinian Authority has yet to decide whether to postpone the submission of a draft statehood resolution to the Security Council. The authority's chief negotiator Saeb Erekat told Haaretz that the proposal is still due to be submitted as planned on November 29.
Bogdanov said that the Russian position on the Palestinian issue resembled that of many European many countries. Sweden, he noted, recently recognized a Palestinian state and the parliaments of Britain and Spain had passed resolutions to that effect.
Both the United States and Israel had done everything in their power to prevent the Palestinian Authority from heading to the UN, Bogdanov said. He also pointed out the U.S. was likely to veto the resolution if came to a vote.
"The Palestinians have repeatedly said that if a UN resolution is blocked, they will appeal on behalf of Palestine to various international structures, including the International Criminal Court," Bogdanov said.