Russia’s invasion of Ukraine placed Israel in a very problematic situation. Its cautious reaction to recent events has earned Israel scathing criticism in the West, and particularly in the United States. But the impact all this has on Israel extends far beyond diplomacy. The country is deeply concerned about the economic damage it could face as a result of the war between two important trading partners, Russia and Ukraine.
Based on annual trade figures by the Ministry of Economy and Industry, Israeli exports of goods and services to Russia amount to $1 billion per year, while imports from Russia come to $2.5 billion. Most of the Russian imports consist of fuel, minerals and gemstones, particularly diamonds. Israel’s major exports to Russia consist of agricultural products (26%), machinery and medical and optical equipment (41%), and chemicals. Half of Israel’s wheat imports originate in Russia, while another 30% come from Ukraine. Russia also provides Israel with a significant part of the coal used to power the country’s electrical stations. Israel gets the coal for a relatively low price, too.