Moscow court begins hearing into bid to liquidate Jewish Agency’s Russian assets

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Moscow court begins hearing into bid to liquidate Jewish Agency’s Russian assets

Thursday's hearing comes as an Israeli delegation arrives in the Russian capital to hold talks with officials

Michael Daventry is Jewish News’s foreign and broadcast editor

Lawyers representing the Jewish Agency have appeared at a Moscow court after Russia’s Justice Ministry filed a request to liquidate its assets in the country.

The legal team were seen at the Basmanny District Court on Thursday morning for the hearing, which was reportedly convened to review the evidence in the case.

Judges were asked last week to consider liquidating the Russian assets of the Jewish Agency, the charity that organises Jewish immigration to Israel.

The lawyers made no comment as they emerged from the court building, but Israeli journalists following the case said a further hearing had been scheduled for 19 August.

But the case threatened to disrupt relations between the two countries, which had remained cordial despite the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Jewish Agency figures suggest many more Russian citizens were applying to emigrate to Israel since the outbreak of the war.

Since February 17,000 Russians have taken Israeli citizenship and the agency expects up to 40,000 others to follow this year.

It compares to just 7,700 Russian Jews making aliyah in the entirety of 2021.

On Wednesday evening Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, who earlier criticised the legal action in Russia, announced a delegation would be sent to Moscow to “hold meetings with the relevant officials in Russia”.

A statement from Lapid’s office said the delegation was going “in coordination with the authorities in Russia.”

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