Ukraine to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

Announcement made during event recognizing 30-years of diplomatic relations. 

By World Israel News staff

Ukraine says it will recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and will build a branch of its embassy in the holy city next year, Ukraine’s Ambassador to Israel Yehven Korniychuk said on Thursday.

The move would make Ukraine one of very few countries to have an embassy in Jerusalem following Guatemala, Honduras, Kosovo, and most famously the United States.

The comments, which came as a surprise, were made during an event marking 30-years of diplomatic relations between Israel and Ukraine, Times of Israel reported.

Ukrainian born Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze’ev Elkin reportedly expressed during the even that it is his hope that Ukraine would open an embassy branch in Jerusalem. The Ukrainian envoy  surprised the audience with an unprepared speech after Elkin presented Korniychuk with a 2,700-year-old artifact bearing the name “Jerusalem” on it, TOI reported.

While this is not official recognition, it shows the true nature of diplomatic ties between the two countries, Elkin told TOI.

Global leaders gathered this week for the third-annual Kyiv Jewish Forum, in which Ukrainian, Israeli and relevant top Jewish officials gathered to discuss issues with regard to communities worldwide. The event saw some 31 speakers, including Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Israeli President Isaac Herzog.

Some 500,000 were in attendance, as it was held virtually due to the pandemic.

Topics of discussion included antisemitism, the coronavirus, and Ukraine’s diplomatic relationship with the the Jewish people, the United States, Israel, and Europe.

Korniychuk said that he alongside colleagues and sponsors prepared a “Hebrew version of the Ukraina.UA website, a digital portal about our country that is of interest to potential tourists, students, businesses and investors.”

“Hebrew has become the seventh language in which the latest information about Ukraine is provided,” he said.