A communique from the office of Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Thursday evening that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has apologized for remarks made earlier in the week by his Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov.
Lavrov said during an interview with Italian television “the biggest antisemites are the Jews themselves,” and that Hitler had “Jewish blood” while attacking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who is Jewish.
Israel’s prime minister presented Putin with a humanitarian request on Thursday – Israel’s 74th Independence Day — to examine various options for evacuation from Azovstal in Mariupol.
The request followed a conversation Bennett held yesterday with Zelensky.
According to Bennett’s office, Putin promised to allow the evacuation of civilians, including wounded civilians, through a United Nations and Red Cross humanitarian corridor.
“In addition, the two discussed Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov’s remarks,” the prime minister’s office said.
“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.”
Bennett also thanked Putin for his wishes on the occasion of the 74th Independence Day of the State of Israel.
Putin wrote in a letter to Israeli President Isaac Herzog, “I sincerely congratulate you on the Independence Day of the State of Israel.
“I am confident that Russian-Israeli relations based on the principles of friendship and mutual respect will continue to develop for the benefit of our peoples and in favor of strengthening peace and security in the Middle East,” he wrote.
“I wish you good health and every success, as well as happiness and prosperity to all the citizens of Israel.”