Ukraine Ambassador Says Jerusalem Is Israel's Capital, Teases Embassy Opening

At an event marking 30 years of diplomatic relations between Israel and Ukraine, Ambassador Yevgen Korniychuk said he would take steps to establish an embassy branch in Jerusalem

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
President Isaac Herzog with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv last May
President Isaac Herzog with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv last MayCredit: חיים צח / לעמ
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

"No foreign minister or ambassador can call Jerusalem anything but the capital of Israel," Ukraine's ambassador to Israel said on Thursday, predicting the country will open a new embassy branch in Jerusalem in the coming months.

Ambassador Yevgen Korniychuk said that Ukraine recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital, addressing an event hosted by Housing Minister Ze'ev Elkin to mark 30 years of diplomatic relations between Israel and Ukraine.

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Korniychuk added that he is waiting for the approval of the Ukrainian government before taking steps to open the embassy branch in Jerusalem, which will deal with promoting economic and technological cooperation.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid had urged Ukraine to open the branch in Jerusalem. However, according to a diplomatic source, Lapid sees no need to move the entire embassy from Tel Aviv.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is expected to visit Israel next year and might inaugurate the embassy branch in the course of the visit, the ambassador noted.

Zelensky's visit follows an invitation extended to him by Israeli President Isaac Herzog, who visited Ukraine to mark the 80th anniversary of the massacre of Jews at Babi Yar in Kyiv.

The ambassador's statement regarding an embassy branch in Jerusalem is a variation on a commitment made by Zelensky in 2019 while then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Ukraine.

Associates of Netanyahu said the hope had been that Ukraine would announce the actual relocation of its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but at the time Zelensky announced the plans for the high-tech and investment center in Jerusalem instead.

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