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Israeli agency told to quit operations in Russia as ties hit new low

Press TV – July 6, 2022

The Russian Justice Ministry has asked an Israeli agency to wind down its operations in Russia as the two sides’ ties hit a remarkable new low.

The Jerusalem Post reported the development on Tuesday, citing the “Jewish Agency,” which purportedly handles the affairs of the Jewish people on the Russian soil.

“The order was given in a letter received from the Russian Justice Ministry earlier this week. Officials in the Jewish Agency confirmed that the letter was received,” the report said.

The agency, it added, was trying to coordinate a response in consultation with the Israeli regime’s foreign ministry and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet’s office.

‘Dramatic order’

The paper described the order handed to the agency as “dramatic.”

It cited a “senior diplomatic official” as making the following remarks concerning the order and Tel Aviv’s potential response to the move.

“Russia is saying the Jewish Agency illegally collected info about Russian citizens… We will bring up the Jewish Agency [with Russian authorities] and address it in an organized way. It will be taken care of at the embassy level.”

“We don’t totally understand the reasoning,” the source claimed.

The daily also said cessation of the agency’s operations in Russia would mean that the Jews would no longer be able to “escape” the country and make their way to the occupied territories.

Relations between Russia and the Israeli regime have gone through dire straits on several occasions since 2018.

The ties were hit with what observers rate as a major crisis in September 2018, when a Russian Il-20 military plane was mistakenly shot down by Syrian air defenses when it was preparing to land in Russia’s Hmeimim airbase in Latakia Province in northwestern Syria. The Syrian S-200 missile defense system was responding to a wave of strikes by four Israeli warplanes.

Moscow blames Tel Aviv for the incident, which killed all the 15 people on board the plane, saying the Israeli warplanes had deliberately “created a dangerous situation” that led to the crash. The Russian military also said the ill-fated plane was used as a cover by the Israeli air force, and that Moscow reserved the right to give a due response.

Tensions flared again between the two sides over the Israeli regime’s recurrent airstrikes against Syria last month after the regime targeted the Damascus International Airport. Russia subsequently summoned the Israeli ambassador to the country, expressing “serious concern” over the strikes that targeted the civilian facility.

And in May, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov suggested that Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler had Jewish origins, triggering strong reactions from Tel Aviv. The Israeli foreign ministry said Lavrov’s comments were “ghastly,” and stated that it had summoned Russian Ambassador to Tel Aviv Anatoly Viktorov for “a tough talk” over the statements.

The Russo-Israeli ties have also been suffering as a result of Tel Aviv’s siding with the West over Ukraine, where Russia has been engaged in a special military operation since February, as well as the occupying regime’s agreement with the European Union to supply natural gas as an alternative to Russian energy imports.

July 6, 2022 - Posted by | Aletho News | ,

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