The Jewish Agency has a murky future in Russia amidst reports that the Russian government has issued onerous demands to the agency in order for it to remain operational in the country.
The Jerusalem Post had initially reported on July 5 that the Russian government had ordered the agency to stop operating in the country altogether, though this report was disputed by The Times of Israel (TOI). The TOI report did not specify the Russian government’s demands, but quoted Jewish Agency International Relations Unit head Yigal Palmor as saying that the demands would be “challenging” to follow. Talks between the two are ongoing.
“As part of our work, the Jewish Agency’s delegation in Russia is occasionally required to perform certain adaptations at the demands of the authorities,” the agency said in a statement to both outlets. “We maintain constant contact with the authorities, with the aim of continuing our activities in accordance with the rules set by the relevant authorities. This dialogue is continuing now.”
Any Jews that wish to immigrate to Israel are required to do so through the agency. Relations between Israel and Russia are fraying over the former’s support for Ukraine during the ongoing Russian invasion of the country, while Russia has recently denounced some Israeli strikes in Syria against Iran.