Armenia and Russia celebrated on August 30, 2022 both the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations and the 25th anniversary of the treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual assistance. This is a parallel issue scheduled from long date and dedicated to architecture, focusing on churches from both countries.
Stamps are different and represent for Armenia, the Church of St. Catherine in St. Petersburg, Russia and the Saint Michael the Archangel’s Church in Gyumri, Armenia. Russia issued stamps representing the Holy Cross Church in Samara, Russia and the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Vanadzor, Armenia. Both countries have issued their stamps in miniature sheets of 4 pairs of stamps [2px2] in chess board order.
This issue was expected to be released on February 26, 2022 and surprisingly came out two weeks earlier, on February 15, 2022. Uri Barlev (Israel) could confirm that Gibraltar and Israel released on the same day identical stamps showing interiors of churches. Stamps depict the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth and the Nefosut Yehuda Synagogue in Gibraltar. Mixed covers as well as the usual Israel mixed Souvenir Leaf became also available. We are still waiting for additional data from Gibraltar.
This Gibraltar – Israel joint issue eventually reaches the market after a first attempt made during the year 2011, more precisely for an issue planned to be released on June 27, 2011, when a first common design was proposed. In Israel, the stamps reached even the printing stage. Despite agreement from both countries, Gibraltar forgot to get in time approval of the design from the British Authorities. Not a recommendation, but a request came from the British Foreign Office to remove the illustration of the Jerusalem’s David Citadel and to substitute it with a landmark from Tel-Aviv. When this request came, it was too late, and the whole print run was destroyed while Gibraltar accepted to reimburse all costs. So, finally, ten years later, we can welcome a now politically acceptable Gibraltar – Israel joint issue. But why having waited so long ?