Foreign minister condemns Russia's anti-Semitic and undiplomatic remarks about Latvian president to Russian ambassador

  • 2022-05-06
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - In a conversation with the Russian Ambassador to Latvia Mikhail Vanin, the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the anti-Semitic and non-diplomatic statements of the Russian Foreign Ministry about the President of Latvia, Egils Levit.

The Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted on its Twitter account that it met with Vanin on Thursday, condemning anti-Semitic statements and non-diplomatic statements about the President of Latvia. The Russian embassy has also been reprimanded for hate speech posted on its social networks.

The AFP news agency reports that Moscow on Tuesday accused Israel of supporting "the neo-Nazi regime in Kyiv," doubling down on an allegation from the Russian foreign minister that Adolf Hitler may have "had Jewish blood" which sparked international outrage.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid on Monday condemned his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov for making an "unforgivable and outrageous statement as well as a terrible historical error" and summoned Moscow's ambassador for "clarifications".

"Jews did not murder themselves in the Holocaust," he said. "The lowest level of racism against Jews is to accuse Jews themselves of antisemitism."

"We have paid attention to Foreign Minister Yair Lapid's anti-historical remarks, which largely explain the current government's decision to support the neo-Nazi regime in Kyiv," said the Russian foreign ministry in a statement on Tuesday.

"History unfortunately knows tragic examples of cooperation between Jews and Nazis," it said.

Lavrov, speaking to Italian outlet Mediaset's Rete 4 channel in an interview released Sunday, claimed that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky "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".

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett also denounced Lavrov's "lies" that he said effectively "accuse the Jews themselves of the most awful crimes in history", perpetrated against themselves.

Moscow has frequently repeated that it aims to "demilitarise" and "denazify" Ukraine, justifying the "special military operation" it launched on 24 February.

On Tuesday, the Russian foreign ministry charged "the Jewish origins of the president (Zelensky) is not a guarantee of protection against rampant neo-Nazism in the country.

"Ukraine, may it be said in passing, is not the only one in this case," the ministry said, citing Latvian President Egils Levits who "has also Jewish roots and he also gives cover... to the rehabilitation of the Waffen SS in his country."