Russian Foreign Ministry Summons Israeli Ambassador to Moscow Following Tense Kommersant Interview

Russian Foreign Ministry Summons Israeli Ambassador to Moscow Following Tense Kommersant Interview

Simone Halperin, the Israeli Ambassador to Moscow, is set to be summoned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Russia. This development is in relation to some statements she made during her interview with Kommersant. As a recently appointed diplomat, Halperin’s comments were deemed harsh by the Russian ministry.

The Russian Foreign Ministry stated, “We find the public statements made by the Israeli Ambassador unacceptable. They distort our foreign policy approaches and misrepresent historical realities. Consequently, we will summon Halperin to the Foreign Ministry.”

According to the TASS agency, the Ministry expressed its indignation, particularly at the disrespect the Israeli ambassador showed towards Russia’s efforts in its contacts aimed at resolving hostage situations. The Ministry said, “We are particularly indignant that the Israeli ambassador speaks disrespectfully about the efforts that Russia is making in its contacts aimed at helping resolve the fate of the hostages.”

Moreover, the Ministry took issue with Halperin’s stance on the Holocaust and proposed changes to Russia’s “state calendar”. The ministry said, “Her thesis that the Holocaust is the extermination of only the Jewish people contradicts the resolution of the UN General Assembly. And her thoughts about the need for changes in the “state calendar” of Russia, border on interference in internal affairs.”

In the controversial interview, Halperin acknowledged significant differences between Israel and Russia. She pointed out that Israel upholds Ukraine’s territorial integrity, while Russia continues to refuse recognizing Hamas as a terrorist organization and has been slow to condemn the group’s October 7 massacre. Halperin stated, “Hamas members are received in Moscow, embraced, and red carpets are rolled out for them. We cannot comprehend this.”

Halperin criticized Russia for not supporting Israel’s fight against terrorism. Instead, Russia aligns with the Republic of South Africa, which has lodged an absurd lawsuit against Israel at the International Court of Justice, accusing it of genocide. Halperin said, “I am glad that the court did not support this accusation… But Russia’s stance is concerning and disheartening because it is causing your country to lose the sympathy of Israelis, including Russian speakers.”

Halperin also accused Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov of downplaying the severity of the Holocaust. She said, “Yes, many peoples suffered heavy losses, and the Russian people paid a huge price for the victory over Nazism with millions and millions of lives. We remember this. However, never before in history has there been such a massive and systematic extermination of people based solely on ethnicity. Only the Jewish people survived this.”