Russia Hosts National Day Reception in Jerusalem For First Time

A Russian flag flies in front of a ruby star atop one of the Kremlin's towers in downtown Moscow on March 13, 2018. Russia will hold presidential elections on March 18, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV (Photo credit should read KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)

The Times of Israel reports: The Russian Embassy in Israel on Thursday evening for the first time hosted its National Day reception in Jerusalem, a nod to Moscow’s April 2017 recognition of Western Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The ritzy event took place at Sergei’s Courtyard, a historic complex in the central Jerusalem district known as the Russian Compound, which Israeli authorities handed to Russia a decade ago in a goodwill gesture. It is widely believed to be the first-ever national day event by a foreign embassy to take place in Jerusalem.

“This is a holiday for Russia, and it’s a celebratory day that was initiated and takes place in Jerusalem, and I assume that there will many more days like this one in Jerusalem,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the event. “I know that we’re going to celebrate many, many years of cooperation between Israel and Russia in Moscow and also next year in Jerusalem.”

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