Shas MK Enters Stormy Diplomatic Waters With Crimea Visit

Russian acting leader of Crimea Sergei Aksyonov (C) holds a model of AK-47 automatic rifle during the celebration of Defender of the Fatherland Day in the Crimean city of Simferopol on February 23, 2015

The Jerusalem Post reports: Shas MK Ya’ acov Margi stepped into a diplomatic mine-field this week when he met with the head of the Russian-established government in Crimea, breaking with Israel’s policy of maintaining strict neutrality in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

Margi, chairman of the Knesset Education Committee, met with Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov (pictured), in talks that were trumpeted in the local press as a sign of cracks in the international isolation of the peninsula.

Only Nicaragua and Abkhazia have officially recognized Crimea as part of Russia, which annexed it in 2014. Meeting with government officials there is barred by Ukrainian law.

According to a Tass report, Aksyonov put out a statement that the meeting was likely to help Israeli citizens and governmental bodies “form an objective opinion about contemporary processes and events in Crimea.”

Read more at the Jerusalem Post