Remember when the Coronavirus Czar Ronni Gamzu was attacked by the Haredim for contacting Ukrainian officials directly, asking that they block the entry of Breslov Chassidim into their country to celebrate Rosh Hashanah in large, tight crowds? Remember that then still minister Ya’akov Litzman demanded that Gamzu be fired over his insolent attempt to carry out his job?
Turns out what’s good for the goose is plenty good for the gander. On Wednesday afternoon, Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Yevhen Enin issued a statement saying Ukraine “received a corresponding appeal from the Minister of Internal Affairs of Israel to the head of Ukrainian state Volodymyr Zelensky,” and asked that, if it’s OK with the Israelis, “continued communication on these issues” should be maintained “at the level of the governments of the two states.”
“We understand the efforts of Israel to facilitate the passage of these people to Ukraine, including the appeal received today through diplomatic channels from the Minister of Internal Affairs of Israel to the President of Ukraine. At the same time, we call for continued communication on these issues at the government level of two states, as it has been so far, since these issues are, first of all, within the competence of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine,” Enin wrote on Facebook on Tuesday.
He also noted that he met on Tuesday with the Ambassador of Israel to Ukraine Joel Lion and indicated that the “pilgrims” were provided with kosher food and drinks.
“Despite the fact that a significant number of Israeli citizens continue to stay between the Belarusian and Ukrainian checkpoints, through the joint efforts of the Ukrainian authorities, the Israeli embassies in Ukraine and Belarus, as well as a number of Jewish communities in Ukraine, we managed to provide the pilgrims with kosher food and drinks,” the deputy minister noted.
Enin then cited clause 10-1 of the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine dated July 22, 2020 No. 641 on the establishment of quarantine and the introduction of enhanced anti-epidemic measures in the territory with a wide spread of acute respiratory disease COVID-19 caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus,” whereby for the period quarantine is valid from 24:00 on August 28, 2020 to 24:00 on September 28, 2020 it is prohibited to enter the territory of Ukraine for foreigners and stateless persons, except for a number of exceptions.
“Persons who do not fall under the category of exceptions to the above ban cannot be allowed into the territory of Ukraine,” he explained.
He also insisted that that to prevent illegal entry of ny kind into Ukraine, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine appealed to the Belarusian side with a petition not to issue a clearance to leave for Ukraine for persons who do not fall under the category of exceptions.
“The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry appeals to all travelers with persistent petitions to respect the current rules in the field of border control and to prevent the creation of complicated situations at checkpoints across the state border,” Enin said.
In other words, please don’t push us to take in these folks you know would be dangerous to our health. Makes sense.