UK government sanctions Moshe Kantor, President of European Jewish Congress, for ties to Putin

The Russian oligarch is also a vice president of JLC


President of the European Jewish Congress (EJC) Moshe Kantor speaks during the Malmo International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism - Remember ReAct, in Malmo, Sweden, on October 13, 2021 - - Sweden OUT (Photo by Jonas EKSTROMER / TT News Agency / AFP) / Sweden OUT (Photo by JONAS EKSTROMER/TT News Agency/AFP via Getty Images)

Moshe Kantor, the president of the European Jewish Council and vice president of the Jewish Leadership Council, has been officially sanctioned by the UK government over his ties to Vladimir Putin.

Dr Kantor, an oligarch who is CEO of the Acron Group, one of the leading mineral fertilizer producers and distributors in the world, has long been tied to the Russian government.

The businessman and philanthropist, who had an estimated net worth of $7.6 billion in 2021, according to Forbes was hit by sanctions targeting Russia's largest bank and several other oligarchs. The Kantor King Solomon High School in Essex was named in his honour after he helped to develop its campus.

The British government announced they were adding Andrey Akimov, Aleksander Dyukov, Andrey Guryev, Moshe Kantor, Sergey Kogogin, Sergey Sergeyevich, Leonid Mikhelson, and Boris Rotenberg to the list of Russian-affiliated businessmen sanctioned.

Announcing the package of sanctions, the Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said: "Today, we are stepping up our campaign to bring Putin’s appalling war to an end with some of our toughest sanctions yet.

"Our latest wave of measures will bring an end to the UK’s imports of Russian energy and sanction yet more individuals and businesses, decimating Putin’s war machine."

Reacting to the news that Dr Kantor had been sanctioned, the European Jewish Congress said: “The European Jewish Congress is deeply shocked and appalled by the decision today of the British government to sanction Dr Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress, the World Holocaust Forum Foundation and the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation. The decision is misguided and lacks any factual or evidence-based merit.

"Dr Kantor is a British citizen who has lived for over three decades in Western Europe, many years of which has been in the UK. He is a long-standing 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."

"We call for this decision to be reversed as soon as possible.” 

The Board of Deputies, whose president Marie van der Zyl is chairman of the EJC council, said she had not seen the EJC statement before its release.

Dr Kantor has stepped back from the presidency of the EJC.

A Jewish Leadership Council spokesperson said: “Moshe Kantor has served as an honorary vice president of the JLC. His term of office will end in May and will not be renewed.”

In a statement on Friday, the World Jewish Congress said, "No one whose name is included on any list of sanctioned individuals by the European Union, the United Kingdom, or the United States in relation to the conflict in Ukraine can hold any position or play any role in the World Jewish Congress."

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive