Bennett and Putin had a phone conversation, according to the Israeli government press office.
Bennett submitted an offer for humanitarian evacuations from mariupol, Ukraine, which is under siege by the Russian military, it said. Putin was also quoted as saying that “the United Nations and the Red Cross have pledged to allow the evacuation of civilians and wounded civilians through the humanitarian corridor.”
The two were reported to have discussed Lavrov’s statements that “Hitler was of Jewish descent,” and that “the greatest anti-Semitism was the Jews themselves.” Bennett reportedly “accepted Putin’s apology and thanked the Jewish people and his stance on the Holocaust” for Lavrov’s statements.
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Putin congratulated Bennet and the Israeli people on Israel’s independence day, the Kremlin said in a statement.
“The Russian President reminded that 40 percent of the 6 million Jews tortured in ghettos and concentration camps and killed by the Nazis during the punishment operations were USSR citizens and asked them to send their wishes of health and well-being to veterans living in Israel,” the statement said. The Kremlin statement did not say whether Putin had apologized.
Kremlin: Situation in Azovstal discussed
Putin congratulated Bennett and the Israeli people on Israel’s independence day in a phone call, the Kremlin said in a statement.
Mutual interest was expressed in further development of friendly Russian-Israeli relations and the maintenance of useful contacts between the leaders of the two countries, the statement said, adding that a comprehensive exchange of views on the situation in Ukraine was held.
“Special attention was paid to humanitarian issues, including the evacuation of civilians held by armed members of nationalist formations from the site of the Azovstal factory, conducted in cooperation with representatives of the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross,” the statement said.
Putin stressed that the Russian military is ready to ensure the safe exit of civilians, and that Kiev authorities should order the remaining armed forces in Azovstal to lay down their weapons.
Ahead of the Victory Day of the Great Patriotic War, which was celebrated in both Russia and Israel on May 9th, Putin and Bennett stressed the special importance of this history to the peoples of both countries, noting the importance of carefully preserving historical facts about the events of those years and honoring the memory of all those who died, including the victims of the Holocaust.
“The Russian President reminded that 40 percent of the 6 million Jews tortured in ghettos and concentration camps and killed by the Nazis during the punishment operations were USSR citizens and asked them to send their wishes of health and well-being to veterans living in Israel,” the statement said.
Israeli reaction to Lavrov’s statements that “Hitler was of Jewish descent”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statements that Hitler was of Jewish descent received the highest level of reaction in Israel, and the Russian ambassador to Tel Aviv was summoned to the Israeli Foreign Ministry.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and several other senior figures reacted to Lavrov’s statements.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mariya Zakharova said israeli mercenaries were fighting against Russia in the Azov battalion in Ukraine, in an assessment of the heightened tensions between the two countries over Lavrov’s statements.
Israeli President Isaac Herzog asked Lavrov to retract his remarks and apologize in an interview published in Haaretz yesterday.
Israel is struggling to maintain ties with Russia, where it is cautious, considering freedom of military action in Syria.
The Israeli military is carrying out numerous air and missile strikes against Iranian and regime targets in coordination with Moscow in Syria, where Russia plays an active military role.