The Kremlin said Tuesday that a move to close in Russia the agency that processes Jewish immigration to Israel should not be “politicised”, calling it a purely legal matter. In a surprise move, a Moscow court said last week that the justice ministry had requested the “dissolution” of the Jewish Agency because of unspecified legal violations. Tens of thousands of Russians have left the country since President Vladimir Putin sent troops to Ukraine on February 24 and the West slapped unprecedented sanctions against Moscow. “The situation should not be politicised or projected onto the entirety of Russian-Israeli relations,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday. “There are issues from the point of view of complying with Russian law,” he added. “This situation should be treated very carefully.” Peskov did not provide further details. In a statement reacting to Peskov’s comments, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s spokesperson said: “relations between Israel and Russia are based on a long history, regular communication and mutual interests.” “The Jewish community is at the heart of these relations. If there are legal issues that arise in relation to the important activity of the Jewish Agency in Russia, Israel is, as always, ready and prepared to engage in dialogue,” the statement further said. Analysts say Russia’s move against the Jewish Agency could be a warning shot from the Kremlin towards Lapid, who has taken a tougher rhetorical line over the Ukraine conflict than his predecessor, as well as an attempt to slow a brain drain from Russia. The Israeli premier warned Moscow on Sunday that shutting the agency would have “serious” consequences. The agency, established in 1929, played a key role in the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. It began working in Russia in 1989, two years before the end of the Soviet Union, after which hundreds of thousands of Jews from all over the USSR left for Israel. More than one million of Israel’s 9.4 million residents today have roots in the former Soviet Union.