UK & World News
Putin Brands Charles Hitler Slur 'Unacceptable'
Vladimir Putin says a comparison made by the Prince of Wales in which the Royal likened the Russian president to Hitler is "not what monarchs do."
Mr Putin said Prince Charles' reported comments were "unacceptable" and "wrong".
The president was talking to leading global news agencies in St Petersburg including the British Press Association ahead of elections in Ukraine on Sunday.
It is claimed the Prince made his comments during a Royal tour of Canada during a private conversation with a museum volunteer whose Jewish family fled Nazi Germany during the war.
Marienne Ferguson, 78, said that after telling Charles the story of how her family fled the Nazis, he replied: "Putin is doing just about the same as Hitler."
It is understood that Charles had been talking to Ms Ferguson about the Nazi occupation of Danzig at the start of World War Two, and had appeared to draw a parallel with Russia's annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea in March.
When asked by the Press Association's chief executive what he thought of what the Prince was reported to have said, Mr Putin replied: "It reminds me of a good proverb: 'You are angry. That means you are wrong."'
He added: "Give my words to Prince Charles.
"He has been to our country more than once, if he made such a comparison, it is unacceptable and I am sure he understands that as a man of manners."
Mr Putin added: "I met him personally, as well as other members of the Royal Family. This is not what monarchs do.
"But over the past few years we have seen so much, nothing surprises me any longer."
Mr Putin's response comes a month before he is due to take part in a D-Day anniversary event with the Prince.
His comments made it clear that the disapproval of prominent international figures such as the Prince of Wales would not influence his actions in the current crisis in Ukraine.
He added: "I will be guided not by what they say about me anywhere.
"I will only be guided by the interests of the Russian people, and I hope our colleagues in Great Britain will keep that in mind and will always remember that when finding solutions to any issues, we are always guided by international law and its norms."
A spokeswoman for the Prince of Wales declined to comment.