Israel: President Putin apologized for Foreign Minister Lavrov’s remarks on Hitler

The office of Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on May 5 that in a two-way phone call to Mr Bennett, Russian President Vladimir Putin apologized for the offensive remarks made by Moscow’s top diplomat a few days ago.

“The Prime Minister (Israel) accepted President Putin’s apology for Mr. Lavrov’s remarks and thanked him for clarifying the (Russian) President’s views on the Jews and the memory of the Holocaust,” he told the newspaper The Times of Israel (TOI).

Israel: President Putin apologized for Foreign Minister Lavrov's comment on Hitler - Photo 1

Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin said Putin discussed “historical memories, the Holocaust and the situation in Ukraine” with Mr Bennett without mentioning an apology.

Earlier on May 5, President Putin sent a letter to Israeli President Isaac Herzog to “congratulate” him on Israel’s Independence Day.

“I am confident that Russian-Israeli relations, based on the principles of friendship and mutual respect, will continue to develop in the interests of our two peoples and will help promote peace and security,” he said in the Middle East,” Putin said according to Herzog’s office.

\n

Relations between Israel and Russia were hit hard after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in a May 1 interview that Adolf Hitler was of Jewish descent. Lavrov made such remarks while explaining Moscow’s efforts to “defascize” Ukraine, where President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is also Jewish.

Israel — along with many Western nations — has Mr. Russian Ambassador Anatoly Viktorov was summoned by Israel’s Foreign Ministry on May 2 to explain what Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid called “unforgivable.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry later accused Mr Lapid of making “statements against history” that “partly explain why the current Israeli government supports the neo-Nazi regime in Kyiv”.

Prime Minister Bennett, however, avoided directly criticizing Russia and President Putin as Israel sought to maintain flights over neighboring Syria, where Russian forces have great influence.