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Prince Charles Likens Putin's Actions to Nazi Tactics

Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Prince Charles caused a stir during what was supposed to be a celebratory visit to Canada by likening Russian President Vladimir Putin's actions in Ukraine to Nazi actions in Europe.

The Prince of Wales reportedly told Marienne Ferguson, a Polish refugee who emigrated to Canada in 1939 just before the Nazi occupation, that "now Putin is doing some of the things Hitler was doing."

Ferguson, in an interview with the Daily Mail, concurred with the assessment.

"I must say that I agree with him and am sure a lot of people do," she said. "I was very surprised that he made the comment, as I know they [members of the Royal Family] aren't meant to say these things, but it was very heartfelt and honest."

Ferguson escorted Prince Charles around Canada's National Museum of Immigration on Monday, telling him how she fled the city of Gdansk in Poland with her family when she was 13 for Canada. She survived, but several of her relatives were killed in Nazi concentration camps.

Clarence House released a statement on the matter.

"We do not comment on private conversations. But we would like to stress that the Prince of Wales would not seek to make a public political statement during a private conversation," the statement reads.

Members of the Royal Family shy away from making statements that might be construed as political in any way.

The Prince of Wales is due to meet Putin at events honoring the 70th anniversary of D-Day next month in Normandy.

BBC Royal correspondent Peter Hunt told ABC News that Charles' comments have had ramifications.

"This was an unplanned foray into a vexed international issue. Charles' supporters will argue his views are in tune with those who've been appalled by the Russian president's actions in Ukraine. His critics believe an unelected future head of state should be seen and not heard," Hunt said.

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