Russia will support a Palestinian bid for statehood at the UN, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. “Russia has recognized the State of Palestine long ago, and we have no difficulty to support the bid,” the minister commented. “As long ago as 1989, when the Palestinian state was proclaimed, the Soviet Union at the time recognized the statehood of Palestinians… since then we have had in Moscow the embassy of the state of Palestine headed by a full fledged ambassador,” Lavrov explained. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to deliver a formal request for statehood recognition to the UN General Assembly. Israel and the U.S. strongly oppose the move.