MIA confirms Ukraine will not open the borders to Hasidic pilgrims

Hasidic pilgrims will not be allowed into Ukraine. Photo: dpsu.gov.ua

The Israeli authorities are calling on their citizens stranded on the Belarusian-Ukrainian border to return to their homeland.

Ukraine will not make exceptions for the Hasidim and not open the border for them. The advisor to the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Mikhail Apostol said this on Thursday on the air of one of the Ukrainian TV channels, reports TASS.

“Ukraine has closed borders for foreigners in connection with the pandemic. There will be no exceptions for the Hasidim,” he said and stressed that the government does not plan to change its decision.

In this regard, the advisor to the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine recommended that the pilgrims who are stranded on the Belarusian-Ukrainian border in the hope of getting to the territory of Ukraine for the celebration of Rosh Hashanah in Uman, return to their countries of residence.

“There is going to be a cold snap, our recommendation is to return to Belarus, buy tickets and go to your countries,” added Mikhail Apostol.

The Israeli authorities also called on their citizens to return to their homeland. As Knesset deputy, head of the Ministry of Higher Education and the Ministry of Water Resources of Israel Zeev Elkin, who is also a member of the ministerial committee for the country's national security, emphasized, “Despite many efforts to help Israelis trying to enter Ukraine through Belarus or Moldova, we received a final negative answer from the Ukrainian authorities."

On Wednesday, Belarus officials informed that at present there are over 2.5 thousand Hasidic pilgrims on its territory, including 1.2 thousand in the territories bordering with Ukraine.

As reported, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has introduced restrictions on the entry of foreign citizens and stateless persons into the country until September 29 to combat the spread of coronavirus. Despite the official ban, a large number of Hasidic Jews are trying to get to Ukraine from Belarus.

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