16:32 30.03.2016

Israel slaps full economic blockade on Crimea – expert

Israel slaps full economic blockade on Crimea – expert

Israel does not recommend doing business in occupied Crimea, notwithstanding the fact that Israel is not trying stir up the war issue, this is actually a full blockade from point of Israeli business' view, the expert in Ukrainian-Israeli relations and Israeli editor-in-chief of the Forum Daily newspaper (the United States), Shimon Briman, has said.

"In the general, the official position of Israel is neutral, but it mainly aims at developing Ukraine in practice," he said at a press conference in Kyiv on Tuesday.

He said that Israel has not recognized the annexation of Crimea, but Tel-Aviv said that this is not their conflict. Israel is trying to have friendly relations both with Ukraine and Russia. Israel's suspension of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) supplies to Russia and the non-delivery of UAVs to Ukraine is evidence of this.

Israel closed the Honorary Consulate in Crimea as soon as their consul backed the occupation. The country opened the Honorary Consulate in Lviv instead.

"This was a particular signal for Moscow," Briman said.

Israeli Ambassador to Ukraine Eliav Belotserkovsky warned Israeli businessmen that Israel does not recommend doing business in occupied Crimea and large Israeli insurance companies stopped insuring deals in the peninsula.

The country provides all kinds of assistance to Ukraine. Medical assistance, medical officer and army psychologist training programs are being implemented.

A large program to introduce Israeli reclamation and irrigation solutions in the southern regions of Ukraine (Kherson, Mykolaiv and Zaporizhia region) has been started: 35,000 Ukrainian farmers will have access to advanced Israeli solutions with support of the Canadian government.

"This is directly linked to Crimea. It will show that recognized Ukrainian territories are developing, while the occupied territories remain a mess," the journalist said.

A movement to support Ukraine has also appeared in Israel - Israeli Friends of Ukraine collected tonnes of food, medicines and other assistance to Ukraine.

"I saw how girls in Tel-Aviv sewed camouflage screens for the Ukrainian military," he said.

A large scandal in Israel erupted over the visit of Knesset member Yakov Margi to Crimea. The Knesset speaker finally apologized for this trip. Ukraine's Prosecutor General's Office opened a criminal case against Margi.

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