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Chabad Rabbis in Russia Urge Lifting of Sanctions

A document that carried signatures of Crimean Jews and executives from the Chabad-affiliated Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia, as well as other Jewish organizations, urged Western Jews to lobby for peeling back sanctions against Moscow, which were imposed following Russia’s annexation of Crimea and support for rebels in eastern Ukraine.

From the JTA:

Representatives of major Jewish groups in Russia urged Western coreligionists to lobby for peeling back sanctions against Moscow.

The call was made in a document that carried signatures of Crimean Jews and executives from the Chabad-affiliated Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia, as well as the Congress of the Jewish Religious Organizations and Associations in Russia, which is not affiliated with the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, the news site Lenta.ru reported Saturday.

In the letter, seen by Lenta, the co-signatories asked Western Jews “to prepare public opinion in their countries [for] starting a dialogue with their governments to lift sanctions against Russia and Crimea.” It is signed by Rabbi Ariel Triger, who is in charge of regional development at the Chabad-affiliated federation, and by the congress’ vice president, Zinovy ​​Kogan.

The sanctions by the European Union and the United States in response to Russia’s March 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula have crippled the Russian economy.

The letter was addressed to the signatories’ Western counterparts, Lenta reported, but did not specify.

Russian Jewish leaders credit President Vladimir Putin with facilitating efforts to re-consolidate Russia’s Jewish community after decades of Communist repression, but critics, including many Jews, oppose his perceived nationalism and crackdown on civil liberties.

Click here to continue reading at the JTA.

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