Moscow imposes curbs on Jewish Agency operations, official says

Russia's new request may harm the local Jewish community; Immigration and Integration minister appeals urgently to Prime Minister Lapid to intervene with the Kremlin to resolve the matter

Sivan Hilaie|
The Jewish Agency said that it was mulling a stop to its operation in Russia amid new curbs imposed by Moscow, Ynet has learned on Tuesday.
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  • The agency said the Russian government was demanding that the agency reveal information about its activity in the country which would include details that could harm the safety of members of the Jewish community.
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    פנינה תמנו שטה ומאיר שפיגלר בסיור עיתונאים בנתב"ג
    פנינה תמנו שטה ומאיר שפיגלר בסיור עיתונאים בנתב"ג
    Pnina Tamano-Shata the Aliyah and Integration Minister
    (Photo: Moti Kimchi)
    The agency said they are conducting a "dialog" with the authorities to drop their demands.
    The Jewish Agency has been active in Russia for years and its main goal was to encourage Jewish to immigrate to Israel.
    The agency also operates summer camps and educational and teaching enterprises in Russia. As of now, the agency has not stopped its operations.
    Jewish Agency officials said they remain optimistic and hopes to reach a compromise with the Russian government.
    "As part of the Jewish Agency work in Russia, we are occasionally required to make adjustments according to authorities' demands," an official said. "The contacts with the authorities are ongoing with the aim of continuing our activities in accordance with the established rules."
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    An event by the Jewish Agency in Russia
    An event by the Jewish Agency in Russia
    An event by the Jewish Agency in Russia
    Meanwhile, Immigration and Integration Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata made an urgent appeal to Prime Minister Yair Lapid to intervene with the authorities in Moscow and try to resolve the matter.
    "I wish to strengthen the Jewish community in Russia, which may be concerned at this time over the consequences of the Russian government's decision. Aliyah is a basic right for Russian Jews and we will ensure that it is maintained as such."
    Ynet's Russian outlet Vesti contacted the Russian embassy in Israel for an official response, but the embassy refused to address the matter.
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