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Jewish Agency Denies Report That Moscow Demanded Halt to Its Activities in Russia

A story in the local press claiming that the Russian government had ordered the Jewish Agency for Israel to halt all operations inside Russia, was inaccurately reported, a spokesman for the Jewish Agency said.

“Contrary to [what was reported in] certain publications, there has been no demand by Russian authorities that the Jewish Agency cease its activities in Russia,” Yigal Palmor, the head of the International Relations Unit and foreign policy adviser to the chairman of the Jewish Agency, told The Media Line. “We did receive a letter from the Russian authorities raising certain issues which would require specific adjustments of an administrative nature. We are currently examining the letter and the meaning of these demands, and will pursue accordingly.”

The erroneous report was based on a letter that the Russian Justice Ministry sent to the Jewish Agency last Friday, which makes several demands that the agency would have difficulty fulfilling. It is not known what demands were made. But the letter was misinterpreted by Israel’s immigration minister, Pnina Tamano-Shata, as calling for a halt in Jewish Agency activities in Russia.

Tamano-Shata said in a statement, “I have asked the prime minister to take action with the government in Moscow to resolve this issue. … Immigration to Israel is a basic right of every Jew in Russia and we will ensure that it remains so.”