Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon / FLASH90
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov with a friend in Jerusalem, February 16, 2009.

Russia’s top diplomat since 2004, Sergey Lavrov, on Thursday told the state-owned news agency RIA Novosti that the military goals set by Russia in Ukraine and Israel in Gaza are, in fact, the same.

Novosti showed an understanding of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s situation and directed some restrained criticism at his predecessor, former FM Yair Lapid. Despite Russia’s anti-Israel rhetoric since October 7, none of it was to be found in this interview.


Lavrov began his remarks about the situation in Gaza by saying, “Netanyahu declared that Hamas must be destroyed as a military force, including the entire organization – this is similar to the demilitarization (of Ukraine – DI). He also must put an end to extremism in Gaza – this is similar to de-Nazification (of Ukraine).”

In effect, Lavrov stated that the goals of Russia and Israel in the current wars are the same, seeing as demilitarization and de-Nazification were Russia’s stated goals when it invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

Lavrov attacked Lapid’s stance on Ukraine when he was foreign minister under PM Naftali Bennett, and as the PM, saying, “The reaction of the Lapid government, who was first the foreign minister, surprised me a lot. They said, ‘How dare Russia use force against a civilian population and annex Ukrainian territories.’ It was unfair and I talked to him about it.”

Regarding Netanyahu, Lavrov said: “I don’t know how he interprets the situation now, but despite the criticism from all over the world and even though he found himself in a complex situation – he does not allow himself to speak about Russia.”

Lavrov even mentioned that “Putin and Netanyahu had two phone conversations and the Israelis, like the Egyptians, helped evacuate Russian citizens from Gaza.”

Lavrov even added that in his opinion there is no truth to the conspiracy theories that say the Israeli leadership knew in advance about the October 7 attack and did nothing to prevent it.

He concluded the Israel portion of the interview saying, “We need to carefully consider our shared history with Israel and first and foremost in the fight against the Nazis. This is really what unites us historically.”

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