The Russian Foreign Ministry intends to adjust its communication strategy on Crimea in light of the US’s pledge to recognize Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights, the department’s spokesperson Maria Zakharova wrote on Facebook in response to a statement by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
On Saturday, a Sky News reporter suggested that by condemning the annexation of Crimea but recognizing the annexation of the Golan Heights, the US is demonstrating double standards in its policy. Pompeo denied this, claiming that Washington’s decision merely recognizes “the reality on the ground and the security situation necessary for the protection of the Israeli state”.
“That is why Washington and Brussels are doing everything to prevent the world from finding out the reality in Crimea – otherwise recognition would take place automatically, following the secretary of state’s logic. We have all understood and are adjusting our communication strategy. Thank you, Mr. Pompeo,” Zakharova wrote.
Many western countries have criticized Trump’s decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which came under Israel’s control at the end of the Six Day War of 1967. Experts have pointed out that the Kremlin could exploit the decision in its attempts to justify Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
On 22 March, US President Donald Trump announced that the US would recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Goland Heights.
The Syrian Foreign Ministry responded that Syria “decisively condemns the irresponsible statements of the American President on the occupation of Syria’s Golan Heights”.
European Council President Donald Tusk said that the EU does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the territory captured in 1967.
The Golan Heights lie between Israel and Syria. The contested territory is periodically bombarded from Syria, to which Israel responds with retaliatory attacks. The last such incident took place in January 2019.