Israeli Prime Minister Bennett says Russian President Putin apologised over his foreign minister’s Nazi comments which pointed to Adolf Hitler being partially Jewish.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has apologised for remarks made by his Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who claimed Adolf Hitler may have had "Jewish blood."
Lavrov's comments sparked outrage in Israel, which has sought to maintain ties with Russia following Moscow's attack on Ukraine.
"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," Naftali Bennett's office said in a statement on Thursday.
A Kremlin summary of the Bennett-Putin call, which came as Israel marked 74 years since the creation of the Jewish state, made no mention of a Putin apology.
READ MORE:Israel seeks apology after Russian minister's Hitler remark over Ukraine
Russian President Vladimir Putin called Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and congratulated him on Israel’s Independence Day.
According to a statement from the prime minister’s office, Bennett accepted Putin’s apologies for Russia‘s Foreign Minister “Lavrov’s anti-Semitic” remarks.
— Velina Tchakarova (@vtchakarova) May 5, 2022
It did, however, note that the leaders discussed the "historic memory" of the holocaust.
In an interview with an Italian media outlet released on Sunday, Lavrov claimed that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy "puts forward an argument of what kind of Nazism can they have if he himself is Jewish."
Lavrov, according to a transcript posted on the Russian foreign ministry website, then added: "I could be wrong, but Hitler also had Jewish blood."
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid labelled the comments "an unforgivable and outrageous statement as well as a terrible historical error."
Bennett denounced the comments as "lies" that he said effectively "accuse the Jews themselves of the most awful crimes in history," perpetrated against themselves.
Russia's ambassador to Israel was summoned to "clarify" the remarks.
The Russian Foreign Ministry initially doubled down on the remarks. In a statement on Tuesday, it called Lapid's criticism "anti-historical," and accused Israel of supporting neo-Nazis in Ukraine.
On Thursday, following a call with Lapid, Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted that "antisemitism has a long track record among Russian elites," and called on Lavrov to publicly apologise.
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