Putin apologises to Israel for foreign minister Lavrov's anti-Semitic remarks

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said he had accepted the apology

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov provoked outrage in Israel when he claimed Hitler had Jewish blood. Reuters
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Russian President Vladimir Putin has apologised to Israel's Prime Minister Naftali Bennett over anti-Semitic comments made by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Mr Bennett's office said on Thursday.

After a call with the Russian leader, Mr Bennett said he had accepted the apology and thanked Mr Putin “for clarifying his attitude towards the Jewish people and the memory of the Holocaust”.

Mr Bennett also said he asked Putin to consider allowing the evacuation of the besieged Azovstal steel works in the Ukrainian port of Mariupol.

The Israeli leader said he made that request following an earlier conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and that Mr Putin promised to set up a corridor for civilian evacuation.

Mr Lavrov on Sunday caused a row with Israel when he said that Adolf Hitler had “Jewish blood”.

In an interview with Italian television news, Russia's veteran foreign minister also attacked Mr Zelenskyy, who is Jewish, and said that “the biggest anti-Semites are the Jews themselves”.

Responding to Mr Lavrov's statements, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid called them “unforgivable”.

Updated: May 05, 2022, 5:01 PM