Russian president nixes Israel visit over strike


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Russian President Dmitry Medvedev canceled a planned visit to Israel due to a strike by Israeli Foreign Ministry employees.

The striking workers had threatened to embarrass the Russian leader during his visit, which was scheduled for the middle of January. The workers gave interviews in Israel’s Russian-language media, closely monitored by the Russian government, saying that they would not assist in preparations for the visit, Haaretz reported.

The visit, scheduled several months ago, was to include a delegation of 500 people, including businesspeople, lawmakers and senior officials, according to Ynet.
The Foreign Ministry workers are protesting low wages.

Following the cancellation, the Foreign Ministry workers’ committee said in a statement Monday, "Regretfully, the stupidity and negligence of the Finance Minister and his deputies are harming the national interests and foreign relations of the country. We call upon the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister to take responsibility and act immediately to save Israel’s Foreign Ministry."

The Foreign Ministry is expected to issue its own statement in the evening. 

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