Moshe Kantor left his post as President of the European Jewish Congress last Friday after the UK and the EU had listed him as the top target of their new sanctions for his connections to President Vladimir Putin. Kantor had served as EJC president since 2007.
UK Foreign Secretary on Wednesday announced a significant ratcheting up of UK sanctions on Russia, and at the top of the list of those Russian elites, Truss included “Viatcheslav (Moshe) Kantor, the largest shareholder of fertilizer company Acron with vital strategic significance for the Russian government (European Jewish Congress Shocked by UK’s Sanctioning Its President to ‘Starve Putin’s War Machine’).”
A statement issued by the EJC on Friday said: “Dr. Kantor will be stepping back with immediate effect as President of the organization in order to ensure that the EJC continues its important mission without distraction.”
“The European Jewish Congress wishes to express its sincere and deep appreciation for the unparalleled contribution of Dr. Moshe Kantor over so many years to the flourishing of Jewish life in Europe,” it added.
The EU Council said on Friday that it sanctioned 217 individuals, including “high-ranking Kremlin officials, oligarchs – Moshe Kantor, Boris Rotenberg, and Oleg Deripaska – and other prominent businesspeople involved in key economic sectors such as energy, finance, media, defense, and the arms industry, as well as proponents of disinformation and information manipulation, systematically spreading the Kremlin’s false narrative on the situation in Ukraine.”
The EJC said it was saddened by the EU decision to sanction its president, who is also president of the World Holocaust Forum Foundation. It insisted Kantor was a “longstanding and respected Jewish leader, who has dedicated his life to the security and wellbeing of Europe’s Jewish communities and the fight against antisemitism, racism, and xenophobia across the European Union.”
Dr. Kantor is also the founder and president of the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR).