The Russian government has ordered the Jewish Agency to halt all activities inside the country, The Jerusalem Post reported on Tuesday.
The Jewish Agency’s office in Moscow received the order in an official letter from the Russian government earlier this week.
Jewish Agency officials confirmed to The Post that they received the order and they are coordinating a response in consultation with the Agency’s office in Jerusalem, Israel’s Foreign Ministry, and the Prime Minister’s Office.
“As part of the work of the Jewish Agency’s delegation in Russia, we are occasionally required to make certain adjustments, as required by authorities,” an official said. “The contacts with the authorities take place continuously, with the aim of continuing our activities in accordance with the rules set by the competent bodies. Even nowadays, such a dialogue takes place.”
According to The Post, halting the Jewish Agency’s operations in Russia would have a dramatic effect on Russian Jews and prevent them from making aliyah. Thousands of Russian Jews who want to make aliyah are already stuck in Russia due to the fact that sanctions have caused most international airlines to halt flights to the country.
The order comes amid increasing tension between Israel and Russia in the wake of the war in Ukraine and Israel’s ongoing strikes in Syria, where Russia controls the airspace.
On Monday night, Russia’s Foreign Ministry condemned Israel for allegedly attacking Syria last week. “We strongly condemn such irresponsible actions that violate the sovereignty of Syria and the basic norms of international law, and we demand their unconditional cessation,” a foreign ministry statement said.
According to a report in May, the majority of Jews in Russia have left or intend to leave the country in the near future.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)