Vladimir Putin has issued an apology to Naftali Bennett for Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statements during phone talks on Thursday, the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office has said. Lavrov made the controversial remarks over the weekend, suggesting that Adolf Hitler may have had Jewish ancestry and that some of the “most ardent” anti-Semites are Jews themselves.
“The Prime Minister accepted President Putin’s apology for Lavrov’s remarks and thanked him for clarifying his attitude towards the Jewish people and the memory of the Holocaust,” the PM’s office said.
While the readout of the talks released by the Kremlin press service did not mention the apology, it said the two leaders discussed the importance of the upcoming Victory Day celebrations “for the people of both countries, who carefully preserve the historical truth about the events of those years and honour the memory of all the fallen, including the victims of the Holocaust.”
“The President of Russia recalled that of the six million Jews tortured in ghettoes and death camps and killed by the Nazis during punitive operations, 40 percent were Soviet citizens,” the Kremlin press service noted. “In turn, Naftali Bennett highlighted the Red Army’s decisive contribution to Victory over Nazism.”