A walkout staged by Israeli foreign ministry workers has forced Tel Aviv to cancel an official planned visit by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
The visit, which had been scheduled for mid-January, was postponed because Israeli workers, who are demanding improved salary conditions, are on strike, Ha’aretz reported on Monday.
Employees of the ministry said on Sunday that they would ruin the visit by not participating in preparations.
The Russian president was expected to be accompanied by a delegation of 500 members, including 300 businessmen, ministers and senior officials.
The cancelation comes after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov urged Israel last week to stop constructing illegal settler units in the occupied Palestinian territories.
"It is absolutely necessary to halt all unilateral actions that might influence the outcome of the talks, above all, the settlement activity Israel has been pursuing in breach of the UN Security Council resolutions," he said.
The ongoing Israeli settlement construction stalled the direct talks between Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu and acting Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas.
The two sides began US-sponsored talks in early September, but the expiry of partial settlement freeze in late September put an end to the process.
Abbas has stressed that he would not return to the talks unless Israel stops its illegal construction activities.