President Herzog Calls Putin About Jewish Agency Crisis

Russian President Vladimir Putin (Sergei Savostyanov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP); President Isaac Herzog (AP/Efrem Lukatsky)

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Israeli President Isaac Herzog on Tuesday called Russian President Vladimir Putin in an effort to resolve the ongoing issues regarding the threatened closure of the Jewish Agency in Russia.

Herzog, who served as chairman of the Jewish Agency before being elected as president, made the phone call at the request of Prime Minister Yair Lapid and in coordination with the Foreign Ministry.

According to a statement from Herzog’s office, he spoke with Putin about “various bilateral issues affecting both countries, among them, the challenges of the Jewish people in the Diaspora,” adding that in that context, he “expanded on the issues of the activities of the Jewish Agency in Russia.”

“We emphasized the important cooperation between Israel and Russia and agreed to stay in touch in order to continue to strengthen the relations between the countries,” Herzog stated. “Putin emphasized his personal commitment to the commemoration of the Holocaust and the fight against anti-Semitism.”

It is unclear if Herzog succeeded in changing Putin’s stance on the continued activities of the Jewish Agency in Russia. His office refused to respond to inquiries on the matter from Israeli news outlets.

Talks last week between the members of the Israeli legal delegation who flew to Russia and officials from Russia’s Justice Ministry ended without any progress.

A court hearing on the issue is scheduled to take place in Moscow on August 19.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)