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Italy PM Draghi slams Lavrov’s Hitler comment as 'obscene'

Draghi did not mince his words when asked about Lavrov interview.

Italy's prime minister Mario Draghi on Monday said comments by Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov in an interview on Italian television were “obscene”.

Draghi was asked by reporters about the contentious interview in which Lavrov appeared on Italian private channel Rete 4 on Sunday night.

"In Italy, we have freedom of expression" - the premier said - "Minister Lavrov is from a country where there is no freedom of expression."

Italy allows people "to express their opinions freely, even when they are blatantly false, aberrant", said Draghi who also took aim at the style of the interview - during which Lavrov spoke uncontested - describing it as political rally speech.

"What Minister Lavrov said is aberrant", Draghi stressed, adding that "the part about Hitler was truly obscene.”

Lavrov was asked on the Zona Bianca programme how Russia could claim that it is fighting to "de-Nazify" Ukraine when President Volodymyr Zelensky is Jewish.

Speaking through an Italian interpreter, Lavrov claimed that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler "had Jewish blood", adding: "Wise Jewish people say that the biggest anti-Semites are the Jews themselves."

Lavrov's comments were condemned by Germany and Canada while Israel summoned the Russian ambassador for "clarification" and demanded an apology for the remarks which Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid described as “both unforgivable and outrageous".

Photo Sky Tg24

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