Ukraine threatens to sanction Israelis doing business in Crimea

The Ukrainian government has threatened to place sanctions on Israeli citizens or companies doing business in Russian-occupied Crimea, Haaretz reported Monday.

In an announcement published in both English and Ukrainian on its website Friday, the Ukrainian Embassy in Israel charged it had obtained information that Israelis entering Crimea in violation of Ukrainian law were conducting business with “illegal authorities.”

“The Embassy states that such actions are considered as the violation of the Ukrainian legislation, in particular the Law of Ukraine, ‘on ensuring the rights and freedoms of citizens and legal regime of the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine,'” the embassy asserted.

It further stressed that any financial transaction with Russian forces in Crimea is a violation of international law as per a March 2014 UN General Assembly resolution on the need to maintain the “territorial integrity of Ukraine.”

“In the case of the continuation of such actions, the relevant information will be transmitted to the competent authorities of Ukraine to further bring to justice perpetrators of violations of the current legislation,” the announcement continued.

“It will be also considered the inclusion of the relevant Israeli companies [collaborating with Russian-occupied Crimea] to the list of legal entities, which are subject to special restrictive measures.”

According to Haaretz, the strange announcement has absolutely no clear basis. The daily noted that many Israeli citizens are businessmen or also hold dual citizenship with Ukraine.