Ukrainian Foreign Minister's tweet
Ukrainian Foreign Minister's tweet Screenshot from Twitter

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Monday lashed out at Israeli airline El Al, claiming it receives payments through the Russian banking system Mir which, he said, is intended to circumvent the sanctions that have been imposed on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine.

“While the world sanctions Russia for its barbaric atrocities in Ukraine, some prefer to make money soaked in Ukrainian blood. Here is El Al accepting payments in Russian banking system ‘Mir’ designed to evade sanctions. Immoral and a blow to Ukrainian-Israeli relations,” he tweeted.

El Al said in response, “El Al blocked the use of Mir as of February 28, 2022. We are sorry that a simple check was not made with us before the misleading tweet, as the facts are entirely different.”

"El Al operates in full coordination with the Israeli government. Throughout the crisis, El Al rescued thousands of Jewish and foreign Israelis from Kyiv and was one of the last companies to operate flights to Ukraine. With the closure of the airspace, El Al flew hundreds of tons of humanitarian and medical equipment to Ukraine, rescued orphans and refugees and took care to bring them back to Israel. El Al operates flights to Russia at the request of the Israeli government and we will continue to rescue Israelis and Jews from Russia, as long as it is possible," the airline added.

Russia has been slapped with economic sanctions in response to its invasion of Ukraine. Most recently, card payment giants Visa and Mastercard announced on Saturday they will suspend operations in Russia. American Express followed suit on Sunday.

Shortly after the invasion started, EU leaders agreed to impose new economic sanctions on Russia, freezing Russian assets in the bloc and halting its banks' access to European financial markets.

A day later, the EU announced a freeze on the assets of Russian President Vladimir Putin himself, as well as on his Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

World leaders also decided to cut off Russian financial institutions from using the SWIFT money transfer system.

The EU also added top Kremlin-linked oligarchs to its sanctions blacklist, targeting some of the key moneymen accused of backing Putin's regime.