Government building in Moscow, Russia
Government building in Moscow, RussiaiStock

The Russian Justice Ministry has requested that a local court order the liquidation of the Jewish Agency in the country, the Russian news agency Interfax reported.

The request was submitted to the Basmanny District Court of Moscow, and would disband the organization which facilitates Jewish immigration to Israel.

A hearing is expected on the issue next week.

Israeli leaders have expressed concern that Moscow would seek to prevent Jewish citizens from emigrating out of the country as its invasion of neighboring Ukraine drags on.

Earlier this month, it was reported that the Kremlin had ordered the Jewish Agency to cease all activities in Russia. The Agency denied the reports, but confirmed it had received a letter from the government about its activities and was considering its responses.

Israeli Ambassador to Russia Alexander Ben-Zvi met with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov Thursday for answers concerning Russia's moves against the Jewish Agency, Walla reported. Bogdanov clarified that the actions were not meant as a diplomatic act against Israel.

The Jewish Agency released a statement saying: "Following today's publications on the subject of Russia, the Jewish Agency wishes to clarify that a preliminary hearing has been scheduled for 28/7 in a court of law on the subject and this is a continuation of the legal proceedings that were previously published. As we have said so far, we do not respond during the legal process."