Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attacked Ukraine and its president Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday during an interview in Italy, claiming that "the fact that he is a Jew does not negate the Nazi elements in his country. I believe that Adolf Hitler also had Jewish blood."
"Zelensky can promote peace between the states if he stops giving orders to his Nazi forces that border on crime," Lavrov said.
In an interview with an Italian television channel, the foreign minister came out against the media in Western countries, saying that "they are misleading people. The media is talking about Russia's goals in the operation in Ukraine, which do not exist at all."
Lavrov also accused Ukraine of using mercenaries and Western military officers, without presenting any evidence to support his claims, before accusing the West of "stealing" Russian money through the sanctions it imposed on his country, stressing that "we just want to ensure the security of the pro-Russian Ukrainians in the east of the country."
According to Lavrov, Russia has never interrupted the efforts to negotiate an international agreement that would prevent the use of nuclear weapons in future wars. He said that Zelensky frequently changed his position in the negotiations between Ukraine and Russia, and that "he hurts the talks, deliberately sabotages them."
Lavrov also remarked that the upcoming anniversary of Russia's liberation at the end of World War II will have no bearing on Moscow's military operations in Ukraine.
"Our soldiers won't base their actions on a specific date," Lavrov said when asked whether the May 9 anniversary would mark a turning point in the conflict.
"We'll commemorate our victory in a solemn manner but the timing and speed of what is happening in Ukraine will hinge on the need to minimize risks for civilians and Russian soldiers," he added, speaking in Russian through an Italian interpreter.