A Russian diplomat has called for Boris Johnson resign after the Foreign Secretary compared Russia’s staging of the World Cup to Hitler hosting the Olympics.
Andrey Pritsepov, the consul general in Scotland based in Edinburgh, said Mr Johnson’s comment “crossed all diplomatic lines”.
He said it was “ridiculous” to suggest Russian president Vadimir Putin would use the tournament for political ends.
Mr Johnson yesterday claimed Mr Putin intended to use the event “in the way Hitler used the 1936 Olympics” in Nazi Germany as a propaganda exercise to “gloss over” Russia’s “gross human rights abuses”.
The Foreign Secretary added: “I think it is an emetic prospect frankly to think of Putin glorying in this sporting event.”
Downing Street later confirmed Mr Johnson was speaking on behalf of the UK Government.
Prime Minister Theresa May has accused Russia of being behind the nerve agent attack on former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury.
The allegation has been denied by Moscow.
Mr Johnson’s comments has been labelled “disgusting” and “not worthy of a foreign minister of any country” by the Kremlin.
Mr Pritsepov was grilled about the remarks on BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme.
He said that “maybe it is time for him to go”.
Mr Pritsepov said he had since had a “very constructive meeting” with the Scottish Government where they had agreed “that we will talk to each other, that we would act positively and that we will try to de-escalate the stand-off”.
He suggested Scottish residents who applied for visas to travel to Russia would not be affected by the UK’s decision to expel 23 Russian diplomats as much as those in England, adding: “Not for residents of Scotland because we are providing all consular support.
“As to England and Wales, my ambassador has warned that the waiting time could double.”