Russia's foreign ministry accuses Israel of supporting neo-Nazism in Ukraine

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By Euronews  with AFP
People gather in Tel Aviv to watch an address by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in March.
People gather in Tel Aviv to watch an address by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in March.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo

Russia's foreign ministry has doubled down on its accusations and pointed the finger at Israel for allegedly supporting neo-Nazism in Ukraine.

The ministry said it had noted the "anti-historical statements" of Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and the country's government.

"History, unfortunately, knows tragic examples of cooperation between Jews and Nazis," it added in a statement.

The comments come just a day after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov controversially claimed that Adolf Hitler had "Jewish blood".

Lavrov's "outrageous and unforgivable" remarks had sparked outrage in Israel, as well from German government officials and other Western leaders.

Lapid said that his Russian counterpart had stated a "horrible historical error" and summoned the Russian ambassador for "clarification".

But Moscow reiterated Lavrov's point that the Jewish ancestry of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy "is no guarantee of protection against rampant neo-Nazsim".

"Antisemitism in everyday life and in politics is not stopped and is on the contrary nurtured (in Ukraine)," the Russian foreign said on Tuesday.

The Kremlin has always claimed that it is conducting a "special military operation" to "denazify" Ukraine.

Israel has expressed support for Kyiv following the invasion in February but has so far avoided direct criticism or sanctions on Moscow. 

Relations between Tel-Aviv and Moscow have become more strained after Lapid last month accused Russia of committing war crimes in Ukraine.