Lavrov first seen since Putin’s apology for his comments on Hitler
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov He was spotted on Friday in his first public appearance since President Vladimir Putin, according to reports he apologized in his name for incendiary remarks he shot at Israel.
Lavrov attended a flower-laying ceremony in commemoration of former Soviet Union foreign ministry officials who died in the “Great Patriotic War,” a term coined by Russia to refer to World War II.
Lavrov does not appear to have yet publicly commented on the remarks he made that caused an international bickering and prompted Putin to apologize on his behalf, according to Israel.
The foreign minister said this week that Adolf Hitler was Jewish and suggested that this statement supported the belief that Jews can express anti-Semitism.
The highly controversial comments were made as an attempt to defend Putin’s talking points to support the illegal invasion of Ukraine.
The Russian president has repeatedly stated that his “special military operation” is a move to “denazify” Ukraine. Ukraine and the international community have dismissed these claims as a pretext to justify its deadly war as it seeks to recapture former Soviet territory, pointing to the fact that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is Jewish and democratically elected.
According to the Israeli foreign ministry on Thursday, Putin apologized to Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett for the remarks, although a direct transcript of the call was not released.
The Russian reading of the appeal did not mention an apology and instead stated that both countries “accurately preserve the historical truth about the events of those years and honor the memory of all the fallen, including the victims of the Holocaust.”
Lavrov sparked international ire after he told an Italian newspaper that “For some time we have heard from the Jewish people that the greatest anti-Semites were Jews.”
“When they say ‘How can Nazification exist if we are Jews?’ In my opinion, Hitler was also of Jewish origin, so it means absolutely nothing, “she added.
But despite Putin’s alleged apologies, the foreign minister’s comments drew condemnation from other nations hard hit by the Nazi occupation during World War II.
On Thursday the representatives of Poland at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe accused Lavrov for reviving “a shameful anti-Semitic trope” and condemned his attempts to “tap into one of the most sinister anti-Semitic myths in an attempt to discredit the president of Ukraine and his government.”
“We had hoped that the distorted idea that Jews were responsible for their own misfortune and that they were the perpetrators of the Holocaust itself would be relegated to the darkest corners of society,” the statement adds.
Russia Friday rejected on the statement and accused the Polish OSCE representatives of being “anti-Russian” and said that Lavrov’s comments had been taken “out of context”.