Israel Warns Ministers Russian Oligarchs May Try to Use Them to Evade Ukraine Sanctions

Officials believe businesspeople who have donated to Israeli endeavors will 'flood' Israelis with requests for help as sanctions continue to mount

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
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A protester at a demonstration staged in front of the Downing Street gates, London, last week.
A protester at a demonstration staged in front of the Downing Street gates, London, last week.Credit: JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid has warned ministers not to accept requests of Russian businesspeople who have been put on the U.S. sanctions list to help them evade the sanctions.

Israeli officials believe businesspeople who have donated to Israeli endeavors will "flood" ministers and other officials with requests for help.

'Syria was Putin's laboratory. Now he's taking his methods to Ukraine'. LISTEN

Meanwhile, officials' assessments are that security coordination with Russia, which allows for Israeli strikes in Syria, will not be affected by Jerusalem's decision to support the condemnation proposal pushed by the U.S. in the UN General Assembly, expected to be put up for a vote in the coming days.

According to an Israeli official, Russia has relayed a message to Israel clarifying that the two arenas are not related. The official added that Israel is doing everything in its power to preserves its freedom of action in Syria.

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said Monday that Israel would be voting in favor of a UN resolution condemning Russia's invasion. He also said that Israel has to act with deliberation because of the need to cooperate with Russia in Syria, "and the fact that there are 180,000 people living in Ukraine who are eligible for the Law of Return" that permits immigration to Israel.

Israel will do all it can "in order to not leave any Israeli and Jew behind, but it's not simple," Lapid said.

Israel has repeatedly called for its citizens, estimated at around 15,000 before the Russian invasion, to leave Ukraine . Last Thursday, after Russian troops entered Ukraine, Israeli Ambassador Michael Brodsky stationed representatives at border crossings in the south and west of the country – leading into Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania – to assist Israelis seeking to leave.

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