Boris Johnson & MPs slam Russian president

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Boris Johnson has predicted the Russian president Vladimir Putin will glory in the World Cup this summer in the same way that Adolf Hitler did over the Olympic Games in Berlin in 1936, and suggested the United Kingdom will need to advise English soccer fans not to travel to Russia for their own safety.

Russian Federation is hosting the World Cup in June and July this year, and Johnson agreed with a politician who said Mr Putin would use the tournament to improve Russia's image, comparing it to when Adolf Hitler's Germany hosted the 1936 Olympics.

She was responding to Mr Johnson's earlier comparison of the Russian World Cup with Nazi Germany's 1936 Olympics. "I think it's an emetic prospect, frankly, to think of Putin glorying in this sporting event".

"This is of crucial importance to us and we do indeed need to have an urgent conversation with the Russians about how they propose to fulfil their obligations under their Federation Internationale de Football Association contract to look after all fans arriving and we certainly shall be having that conversation", he added.

Johnson said he would be seeking urgent assurances from Russian Federation that it would fulfil its obligations under the World Cup contract to ensure the safety of fans.

He said it would be "wrong to punish" the England team or fans to prevent them from attending the tournament.

He also questioned how England fans could be safe, particularly given the expulsion of British diplomats. At the moment we are not inclined actively to dissuade people from going because we want to hear from the Russians what steps they are going to take to look after our fans.

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She said on Facebook that Johnson's statements were "unacceptable, unworthy of a top European diplomat", adding that it reflected London's efforts to cast Russian Federation as an enemy using the most absurd reasons in order to boycott the World Cup.

"Putin is going to use it in the way Hitler used the 1936 Olympics".

"I frankly do not think England should be participating in the World Cup", he added.

He said: "No matter how exactly it came to be done, the pathway, the chain of responsibility seems to me to go back to the Russian state and those at the top".

Foreign secretary Boris Johnson was giving evidence to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee on the escalating diplomatic row with Moscow over the poisoning of a former Russian spy with a deadly nerve agent.

He said that so far there had been 24,000 applications from England fans to attend the World Cup, well down on the 94,000 applications at the same stage of the Rio World Cup in 2014.

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