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Newsline: Israel’s Foreign Ministry denies report that Ukraine embassy shut amid labor dispute

A Foreign Ministry spokesperson says Israel’s embassy in Kyiv is open, after a report that workers unhappy about a cut in hazard pay had shut the mission “until further notice.” An Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, indicates that the embassy may in fact be shut in the future, though. According to the source, diplomats had pushed for a 4 percent hazard pay bonus, which was supposed to end at the start of 2022, to be gradually removed over January, though he says workers will still need to pay back money they got beyond what they should have. The Foreign Ministry initially attempted to remove hazard pay for embassy staff in January 2021, but had given the workers a one-year reprieve, the source says. (https://www.timesofisrael.com/liveblog_entry/foreign-ministry-denies-report-that-kyiv-embassy-shut-amid-labor-dispute/) The labor dispute comes as tensions in Ukraine have rocketed in recent weeks over a standoff between Russia and NATO. While other countries have evacuated non-essential personnel from embassies, Israel, which has sought to maintain close ties with both Moscow and the West, has not done so.

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