El Al (Shutterstock) Shutterstock)
El Al

“I am grateful to El Al for its important humanitarian operations and convey my apologies.”

By Pesach Benson, United With Israel

A spat between Ukraine and El Al over Russian “blood money” ended with an apology from Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Tuesday.

Kuleba falsely accused Israel’s national airline of accepting “blood-soaked Russian money,” in a tweet on Monday that has now been removed.

Specifically, he charged El Al with accepting payments on its website from the Mir network, a Russian system for electronic money transfers.

“While the world sanctions Russia for its barbaric atrocities in Ukraine, some prefer to make money soaked in Ukrainian blood,” Kuleba tweeted. He described this as “designed to evade sanctions,” and “immoral and a blow to Ukrainian-Israeli relations.”

The tweet included a screenshot of El Al payment options that included Mir.

El Al responded that it ceased accepting Mir transfers on Feb. 28. Although the button still appeared on El Al’s site, its function had been disabled.

The airline also noted that it has ferried hundreds of tons of humanitarian aid to Ukraine and evacuated orphans and refugees to Israel.

Kuleba tweeted his apology on Tuesday morning.

“Indeed, the ‘Mir’ payment button remained on the website, but the use of it was blocked. I am grateful to El Al for its important humanitarian operations and convey my apologies,” he wrote.

El Al Still Flying to Russia, But Not Much Longer

Numerous airlines have stopped flying to Russia, and many countries have closed off their airspace to Russian planes.

But despite the sanctions, El Al is one of the few international airlines still flying to Russia, in order to bring Israeli out Israeli nationals and Jews. But those flights are only until March 9.

The flights are 90 minutes longer because it isn’t safe to cross Ukrainian air space.

The continued flights to Russia have Knesset approval. Airline insurance for flights to Russia is no longer valid due to the sanctions so lawmakers approved $2 billion in financial guarantees.

Because of the aviation sanctions, Russia’s state-owned Aeroflot will end its few remaining international flights — except for Belarus — on Tuesday.

Bring Purim Joy to Israeli Victims of War and Terror

Join us in providing Israeli victims of war and terror with much needed comfort, blessing and holiday joy.

Families have been destroyed by the horrific Hamas massacre of October 7th and ongoing terror and rockets attacks. There are so many orphans that need our love, compassion and support!

Brighten their Purim holiday by sending Purim food baskets, yummy treats, personal notes and toys for the children.