By Kostas Onisenko
In 2021, Russia hopes to take ownership of the “House of St. Alexander”, metochion in Jerusalem, which is located a few meters from the Temple of the Holy Sepulcher, reports the Russian agency RIA.
It is a monument with disputed ownership, which the state of Israel has been called upon to solve. The building came under the occupation of the Russian Empire in the late 19th century, but a few years later, with the October Revolution, Russia lost control of this important historical and religious monument, which was taken over by the so-called Orthodox Palestinian Union.
Until two decades ago, when the Russian government raised the issue of ownership of the Metochion and began diplomatic and other actions to acquire its ownership.
The issue is considered major for the Russian government, which is why it is handled under the supervision of top Russian officials. On the Russian side, the so-called Imperial Orthodox Palestinian Union was created, which appears as a claimant.
According to the Israeli newspaper Maariv, the state of Israel transferred the ownership of the Metochion to the Russian state last December, but as soon as it became known, the Imperial Orthodox Palestinian Union turned to the courts, blocking the implementation of the decision.
However, the Imperial Palestinian Orthodox Union argues that it is only a matter of time before Metochion in Jerusalem becomes property of the Russian state.
“Many claimants have been found, which is why the Israeli Ministry of Justice is preparing answers to each of the objections. Everything must be transparent. We do not push these things. Everything must be in accordance with the law, so that from the moment that the Metochion comes under our control there won’t be more objections – it is very important,” the head of the Imperial Orthodox Palestinian Union, Sergei Stepashin, told RIA. He added that the process is expected to be completed within the current year.