Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov twice declined to answer questions from journalists on Friday about whether Russian President Vladimir Putin apologized to Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett over anti-Semitic remarks his foreign minister made this week.
An Israeli summary of a phone call between the two leaders on Thursday said Bennett accepted Putin’s apology; a Russian summary made no mention of any contrition.
“At the moment, we have nothing to add to what was said in the readout,” Peskov said on his regular press briefing call.
Israeli leaders responded with fury earlier in the week after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov suggested that Adolf Hitler had Jewish ancestry. The assertion has no basis in fact.
Asked on Friday by a journalist if Lavrov should apologize, Peskov replied: “I’m not sure I understand your question.”
Some context: On Sunday, Putin's top diplomat Lavrov sought to justify Moscow's absurd goal of "de-Nazifying" Ukraine -- a baseless portrayal of the country, which is led by a Jewish president -- by claiming Adolf Hitler had "Jewish blood" and that "the most ardent anti-Semites are usually Jews."
Bennett called the assertions "lies" and Israel's Foreign Minister Yair Lapid described them as "unforgiveable and outrageous," warning that Israel had "tried to maintain good relations with Russia, but there is a line, and this time the line has been crossed."