Russia has responded with anger to reports that the Prince of Wales compared president Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler, saying the comments “do not befit” a future king.
Moscow’s response came as the country’s deputy ambassador Alexander Kramarenko met senior British diplomats at the Foreign Office (FCO) in London to demand an explanation.
The Prince’s comment was made to 78-year-old Marienne Ferguson during a visit to Canada with the Duchess of Cornwall.
Ms Ferguson said she told Charles how her Jewish family fled the Nazis when they invaded Danzig, adding that he responded: “Putin is doing just about the same as Hitler.”
A statement issued by the Russian embassy in London denounced the comment as “outrageous”. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said: “If these words indeed were said, they don’t befit a future British monarch.”
The Prince’s comments are particularly sensitive for the Russian Federation, which suffered terrible losses fighting Hitler.
Charles is due to meet Mr Putin at commemorations for the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy on June 6.