Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday likened Western policies on Russia to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler’s “Final Solution” plan of genocide against Jewish people.
Moscow’s top diplomat -- whose comments on Hitler and Jews led to President Vladimir Putin issuing a rare apology on his behalf last year -- made the comparison at his annual press conference.
“Just as Napoleon mobilised practically all of Europe against the Russian Empire, just as Hitler mobilised and captured... the majority of European countries and sent them against the Soviet Union, now the United States has organised a coalition,” Lavrov said.
Western countries, he said, are “by proxy through Ukraine waging war against our country.”
“The task is the same: the final solution of the ‘Russian question.’ Just as Hitler wanted to finally solve the Jewish question.”
It is not the first time Lavrov has invoked Hitler and the Jews in his outspoken anti-Western remarks, with the 72-year-old facing anti-Semitism accusations before.
In May last year, Putin apologised to Israel after Lavrov claimed Hitler had “Jewish blood.”
Lavrov also said Wednesday that Russia had not seen any “serious proposals” from the West on solving the Ukraine conflict.
“We are ready to respond to any serious proposals,” he said. “But we haven’t seen any yet.”
He defended the Kremlin’s aims in its 11-month offensive in Ukraine.
“They are not made up, not just taken from thin air, but goals determined by fundamental, legitimate security interests of the Russian Federation.”
The Kremlin’s critics have said its military aims in Ukraine are unclear and have changed since Moscow failed to take Kyiv at the start of its offensive.
Russia sent troops to Ukraine in February last year.
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