Ukrainian FM apologizes for falsely accusing Israeli airline of making ‘money soaked in Ukrainian blood’

Israeli airline El Al plane takes off from Ben Gurion Airport in central Israel. Lod, Apr 24, 2019. Photo by Kobi Richter/TPS *** Local Caption *** ???? ?? ???? ?????? ???????? ?? ??, ????? ???? ?????? ?? ?????? ?? ????? ??? ????? ??? ????? ?????? ?????? ???? ???? ????? ??????? - ????? ?? ?????? ????? ???? ???"?

The apology came after the Israeli carrier refuted accusations, saying he had the facts wrong.

By Aryeh Savir, TPS and WIN staff

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba apologized for wrongly claiming that the Israeli El Al airline was helping Russia circumvent the sanctions that the West leveled against it.

Kuleba claimed Monday that El Al was receiving payments for its flights through the Russian Mir system, designed to bypass sanctions.

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“While the world sanctions Russia for its barbaric atrocities in Ukraine, some prefer to make money soaked in Ukrainian blood. Here is EL AL accepting payments in the Russian banking system ‘Mir’ designed to evade sanctions. Immoral and a blow to Ukrainian-Israeli relations,” he tweeted.

Responding to the allegations El Al simply pointed out that the facts he presented were wrong. It said it blocked the use of the Mir credit card as of February.

“We regret that a simple check was not made with us before the misleading tweet, since the facts are completely different,” El Al stated.

“El Al operates in full coordination with the Government of Israel. Throughout the crisis, El Al rescued thousands of Jewish and foreign Israelis from Kyiv and was one of the last companies to operate flights to Ukraine,” it pointed out.

Furthermore, with the closure of the Ukraine airspace, El Al flew hundreds of tons of humanitarian and medical equipment to Ukraine, rescued orphans and refugees, and took care to bring them back to Israel, the carrier stated.

El Al operates flights to Russia at the request of the Israeli government and we will continue to rescue Israelis and Jews from Russia, as long as possible, it said.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry remained silent on the harsh accusations.

Kuleba later apologized for his attack on El Al and Israel, removed his tweet, and admitted that EL AL had indeed blocked the possibility of using the Russian Mir payment system. He thanked El Al for its activities in transferring humanitarian aid to Ukraine.



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