European Jewish Congress ‘shocked and appalled’ as president is sanctioned

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European Jewish Congress ‘shocked and appalled’ as president is sanctioned

Kantor is known in the Jewish community for his philanthropic work and for being deputy chairman of Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.

Michael Daventry is Jewish News’s foreign and broadcast editor

Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor (Jewish News)
Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor (Jewish News)

Russian Jewish leader Moshe Kantor has been included in the latest list figures sanctioned by the UK government for links to Russia.

The European Jewish Congress (EJC) president was sanctioned for being the largest shareholder of Acron, a fertiliser company.

The firm has “vital strategic significance for the Russian government”, a UK government statement said.

Kantor is known in the Jewish community for his philanthropic work and for being deputy chairman of Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. In the UK, he has served as an honorary vice-chair of the Jewish Leadership Council.

“His term will end in May and will not be renewed,” said a spokesperson for the JLC.

Measures announced by Britain on Wednesday evening also included a freeze of the assets of Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank, and Credit Bank of Moscow.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss added that the latest wave of measures would “bring an end to the UK’s imports of Russian energy and sanction yet more individuals and businesses, decimating Putin’s war machine.

“Together with our allies, we are showing the Russian elite that they cannot wash their hands of the atrocities committed on Putin’s orders. We will not rest until Ukraine prevails.”

The EJC reacted angrily to the news.

A spokesperson said: “We are deeply shocked and appalled by the decision today of the British government to sanction Dr Moshe Kantor. The decision is misguide [sic] 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.

“In recognition of this life work on behalf of Jewish communities and his efforts to instil greater tolerance and reconciliation in Europe and beyond, Dr Kantor has been granted prestigious awards from many European governments.

“We call for this decision to be reversed.”

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