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Currently, the countries of Israel and Ukraine have reciprocal agreements that visitors to the other country do not require visas prior to entry.

Recently, Israel has been evicting Ukrainian citizens who have been overstaying their welcome while fleeing en masse away from Russia's civil war.

In response, the Ukrainian government is threatening to restrict Israelis from traveling to Uman to be by the grave of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov for Rosh Hashanah, the Israeli news site B'chadrei Chareidim reports.

Volodymyr Zelensky, the President of Ukraine delivered the following stern message as part of his weekly briefing to the citizens of Ukraine:

 "I heard concerning reports regarding border officials of foreign countries treatment of Ukrainian citizens, including harassing them over their international stays. The rights of Ukrainian citizens while staying in foreign countries must be guaranteed!"

Ukraine's ambassador to Israel Yevgeny Kornichuk stated that Zelensky was talking specifically regarding Israel, saying, "the government of Ukraine will not tolerate the humiliation that its citizens have been given upon entering Israel. If need be, we will go so far as to stop our bilateral visa waiver agreements as stipulated in the intergovernmental agreement. This possibility is on the table as far as our government is concerned.

"It is unthinkable that we would have to go out of our way to host tens of thousands of Israelis in Uman, with a high security risk, and with a huge logistical effort, when on the other hand - the Israeli government mistreats our citizens who come to Israel as part of the treaty between the two countries. If Israel wants its citizens to be able to come to Ukraine as tourists, including artisans, I believe that the Prime Minister, Netanyahu, should intervene, personally, in finding a solution to the current state of affairs," Kornichuk added.

Curiously, Zelensky did not mention Israel and he certainly did not actually threaten to restrict the Uman pilgrimage.

Rather, the ambassador to Israel who has a history for a number of years already of finding various inventive ways to threaten to restrict the pilgrimage is the one who is making these claims.

Last year as well, Kornichuk stated that the Ukrainian government would restrict the annual pilgrimage, however, in fact the government did not actually restrict the pilgrimage.

Following Kornichuk's statement, Minister of the Interior and Health, MK Moshe Arbel, shot back, "I completely reject the claims about the humiliation of Ukrainian citizens upon entering Israel. 

"The Israeli immigration policy welcomes tourists from many countries in the world, including Ukraine. The Population and Immigration Authority only exercises its legal authority to bar entry in cases where there is suspicion of illegal use of a tourist visa for work or settlement purposes.

"The brave partnership between Israel and Ukraine will continue. As the Minister of Health I am proud of the completion of the process of transferring the medicines to Ukraine and of the collaborations in the field of health maintained by my office and I intend to continue and deepen these collaborations."

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