MOSCOW, Jan 18 (Reuters) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov drew a sharp rebuke from the White House on Wednesday for saying the United States had assembled a coalition of European countries to solve “the Russian question” in the same way that Adolf Hitler had sought a “final solution” to eradicate Europe’s Jews.
“How dare he compare anything to the Holocaust, anything. Let alone a war that they started,” White House national security spokesman John Kirby said.
Lavrov, who caused an international furore last year with remarks about Hitler, said Washington was using the same tactic as Napoleon and the Nazis in trying to subjugate Europe in order to destroy Russia.
Using Ukraine as a proxy, he said, “they are waging war against our country with the same task: the ‘final solution’ of the Russian question.”
“Just as Hitler wanted a ‘final solution’ to the Jewish question, now, if you read Western politicians … they clearly say Russia must suffer a strategic defeat.”
The ‘Final Solution’ was Hitler’s blueprint for the Holocaust, which led to the systematic murder of 6 million Jews, as well as members of other minorities.
Lavrov has caused outrage before with remarks about Hitler. Last May he said the Nazi leader had “Jewish blood”, drawing angry protests from Israel.
“It’s almost so absurd that it’s not worth responding to, other than the truly offensive manner in which he tried to cast us in terms of Hitler and the Holocaust,” Kirby told reporters at a briefing.
Reporting by Reuters, Katharine Jackson in Washington; Writing by Mark Trevelyan; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Nick Zieminski
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