World Jewish Congress says no sanctioned oligarchs can play role in NGO

Decision comes days after the UK sanctioned Moshe Kantor, former head of the European Jewish Congress, due to ties with Putin.

 Moshe Kantor with former Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz (photo credit: COURTESY OF EJC)
Moshe Kantor with former Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz
(photo credit: COURTESY OF EJC)

The World Jewish Congress announced on Friday that it won’t allow any individuals on sanctions lists to “play any role” in the veteran Jewish NGO.

Reacting to the recent announcements of newly sanctioned individuals by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office of the United Kingdom and by the Council of the European Union, the World Jewish Congress released a statement saying, “No one whose name is included on any list of sanctioned individuals by the European Union, the United Kingdom, or the United States in relation to the conflict in Ukraine can hold any position or play any role in the World Jewish Congress.”

In the statement, the organization said it took “note of the resignation of Moshe Kantor as president of the European Jewish Congress.”

On Wednesday, Kantor, a Russian billionaire and leader of Jewish organizations including the influential EJC, was hit with sanctions by the UK.

The British government said that Kantor was sanctioned because he is the largest shareholder of the fertilizer company Acron, which has “vital strategic significance for the Russian government.”

“Our latest wave of measures will bring an end to the UK’s imports of Russian energy and sanction yet more individuals and businesses, decimating Putin’s war machine,” announced UK Foreign Secretary Liz 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. We will not rest until Ukraine prevails.”