U.K. Slaps New Sanctions on Russian Oligarch Moshe Kantor

Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress and contributor to Israel's Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem, is considered close to Putin

Moshe Kantor delivers speaks during an opening of the two-day international meeting about rising of anti-Semitism and extremism in Prague, January 26, 2015.
Moshe Kantor delivers speaks during an opening of the two-day international meeting about rising of anti-Semitism and extremism in Prague, January 26, 2015. Credit: AP

The U.K will impose sanctions on Russian oligarch Moshe Vyacheslav Kantor, alongside a full asset freeze on Russia's largest bank, the Guardian said Wednesday, citing U.K. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss.

Kantor is the president of the European Jewish Congress and considered close to Russian President Vladimir Putin. He has contributed to Israel's Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem and is the largest shareholder of the fertilizer company Acron.

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Kantor’s wealth was amassed following the breakup of the Soviet Union, thanks to his taking over the extensive fertilizer industry.

The European Jewish Congress said in response that it is 'deeply shocked and appalled by the decision of the British government to sanction Dr. Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress, the World Holocaust Forum Foundation and the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation. The decision is misguided and lacks any factual or evidence-based merit.'

'Dr. Kantor is a British citizen who has lived for over three decades in Western Europe, many years of which has been in the UK. He is a long-standing and respected Jewish leader, who has dedicated his life to the security and wellbeing of Europe’s Jewish communities and the fight against antisemitism, racism and xenophobia. We call for this decision to be reversed as soon as possible.'

More sanctions

The sanctions package announced by the U.K. will also end all imports of Russian oil and coal by the end of the year, according to Truss.

"Together with our allies, we are showing the Russian elite that they cannot wash their hands of the atrocities committed on Putin’s orders," she was quoted saying in a government press release. "We will not rest until Ukraine prevails."

Similar sanctions from western allies, including the EU which has also banned imports of Russian coal, were announced recently.

The U.S. said it was imposing sanctions against Sberbank, Russian’s largest bank, alongside the U.K, among other sanctions targeting Putin's adult children, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian elites.

The measures come as the world reacts to images from Ukraine's Bucha showing the bodies of civilians lying on the ground and makeshift graves after the withdrawal of Russian troops.

Shuki Sadeh and Reuters contributed to this report.

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