Israel focusing on closing loopholes, not imposing Russia sanctions, officials say
Lapid, ministries working to ensure country not used to bypass West; Jerusalem says it has no legal ability to declare sanctions — which it doesn’t want to do now in any case
Israel is not currently preparing sanctions on Moscow or Russian oligarchs, senior Israeli officials told The Times of Israel on Tuesday.
The clarifications came a day after Foreign Minister Yair Lapid declared in Slovakia that “Israel will not be a route to bypass sanctions imposed on Russia by the United States and other Western countries.”
British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss tweeted after his remarks that she welcomes “news from @YairLapid that Israel will support sanctions against Russia.”
But that support does not mean the imposition of Israeli sanctions, the officials said. Instead, Lapid’s statements were in line with Israel’s stance to this point, in which it has sought to maintain open lines of communication with both Moscow and Kyiv while showing support for Western positions without necessarily joining them.
There is currently no legal structure in Israel that would allow for Israeli sanctions on assets and citizens of a state that is not defined by law as an enemy country. Such a law could theoretically be passed in the future.
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