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Israel said not to rule out further deterioration of Russia ties after Lavrov’s comments

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (left) makes comments to the press alongside his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, in Moscow, on September 9, 2021. (Shlomi Amsalem/GPO)
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (left) makes comments to the press alongside his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, in Moscow, on September 9, 2021. (Shlomi Amsalem/GPO)

At the public level, the Foreign Ministry has sufficed with characterizing the meeting it called with Russia’s ambassador to Israel a “clarification conversation,” rather than a “rebuke” for Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov’s comments about Hitler, antisemitism and the Jewish people, but Jerusalem is not “ruling out the possibility of a further deterioration of ties in the wake of the incident,” Channel 12 reports.

“The Russians hid the extent of their aggression from everybody, but these words [from Lavrov] are unforgivable,” the network quotes a senior Israeli official as having said, adding that Jerusalem now appears inclined to further align its stance on the Ukraine invasion with the West.

Israel has sought to avoid aligning too closely with Ukraine since the start of the war, fearing a deterioration in ties with Russia could lead Moscow to restrict its freedom of movement in the skies above Syria from which the IDF operates to target Iranian proxies.

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