Israel says Putin apologised for foreign minister’s Hitler remarks
10:36 JST, May 6, 2022
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Thursday that Russian President Vladimir Putin had apologised for his foreign minister’s comments claiming Adolf Hitler had Jewish origins.
Putin also told Bennett in a phonecall that Russia would allow civilian passage from the besieged Azovstal steel works in the Ukrainian port of Mariupol via a humanitarian corridor handled by the United Nations and Red Cross.
Bennett’s office said Israel’s prime minister had requested civilian passage from the steel works after an earlier conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
Israel lambasted Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov this week for saying Adolf Hitler had Jewish roots, describing the remarks as an “unforgivable” falsehood that debased the horrors of the Nazi Holocaust.
Lavrov made the comment on Sunday when asked why Russia said it needed to “denazify” Ukraine if Zelenskiy was himself Jewish.
“When they say ‘What sort of nazification is this if we are Jews’, well I think that Hitler also had Jewish origins, so it means nothing,” Lavrov told Italy’s Rete 4 channel, speaking through an Italian interpreter.
After the call with Putin, Bennett said he had accepted the apology and thanked the Russian leader for “clarifying his regard for the Jewish people and the memory of the Holocaust.”
Israel, which has sought to keep good ties with Kyiv and Moscow, has acted as an intermediary, although an Israeli official said Bennett had suspended those efforts in late March to deal with a spate of Arab street attacks in Israel.
The latest phone calls with Putin and Zelenskiy suggested Israel may be resuming mediation efforts.
"NEWS SERVICES" POPULAR ARTICLE
SpaceX returns 4 astronauts to Earth, ending 200-day flight
Kishida, Pope Francis affirm cooperation for nuclear-free world
Japan’s ‘Drive My Car’ wins Oscar for best international feature film
Russia bars entry for 63 Japanese, including Prime Minister Kishida
EU, Belarus discuss migrant crisis as Brussels readies sanctions
JN ACCESS RANKING