UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
British Foreign Minister on Wednesday compared newly re-elected Russian President Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler, saying that Russia hosting the World Cup is akin Germany hosting the Olympic Games during the Third Reich.
Putin, he said "will use the event like Hitler did in 1936 at the Olympics...to strengthen the brutal and corrupt regime he is responsible for." Johnson called it a "public relations exercise."
Johnson's comments come a week after British Prime Minister Theresa May expelled 23 Russian diplomats from the UK after accusing Russia of orchestrating an attack on a former Russian spy in Salisbury, England. The spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter, Yulia, were poisoned on March 4 after being poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent.
Johnson suggested that Russia - and even Putin personally - was responsible for the attack, saying that he "wanted to convey a message those who deserted Moscow's intelligence agencies that if you decide to support a country that espouses values that differ from ours, we will assassinate you."
The World Cup will take place in various cities across western Russia between June and July 2018.
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